September 22, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 38

Egypt: A court has convicted and sentenced seven members of the Islamic State to be executed. The seven individuals were convicted of murder and violence while members of the terrorist group. After joining the Islamic State, they participated in training camps in Libya and Syria, and the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians working in Libya. When arrested, the men had explosives devices. Thirteen others have been charged with similar crimes. They will be sentenced later this year.



India: On Saturday, September 16, 2017, the Madras High Court has commuted the death sentence of Koolai Selvam. He has been resentenced to life in prison and fined. The court also released two others who were also accused in the case. All were accused of murdering another individual over a financial dispute. That motive is now being called into question.

A petition has been brought before the Supreme Court attempting to have the execution method changed from hanging to shooting or lethal injection. Supporters of the petition argue that hanging involves prolonged pain and suffering, which the other two options will eliminate. They also argue that hanging can be a lengthy affair, while the other two options will be quicker.



Iran: On Tuesday, September 12, 0217, a 27-year-old unnamed man was executed by public hanging in Eslamabad-e Gharb in Kermanshah province. He was convicted of murder.

On Thursday, September 14, 2017, Davoud Hajizadeh was executed by public hanging in Salmas County. His crime was not reported.

On Sunday, September 17, 2017, Samir Deivband was executed by public hanging in Ilam. Samir has been convicted and sentenced to death for murder.

On Monday, September 18, 2017, 42-year-old Shahin Parsajoo was executed by hanging while other prisoners watched. He was convicted of sodomy.

On Tuesday, September 19, 2017, an unnamed 23-year-old was executed by hanging. He was convicted of robbery and initially sentenced to three years in prison, before addition charges were brought, allegedly, in order to secure a death sentenced.



Japan: Death row inmate Tetsuo Odajima died while in custody on Saturday, September 16, 2017. Tetsuo was 74 years of age. He was convicted of killing four individuals in 2004, after breaking into a family’s home. After murdering the family, he stole hundreds of thousands of yen in cash and jewelry before setting the house on fire. Tetsuo was being treated for esophageal cancer at the time of his death.



Pakistan: Thirty-five-year-old Nadeem James has been sentenced to death for sharing a poem with a friend through WhatsApp. The poem was deemed to be insulting to Islam. Nadeem is a Christian in a predominately Muslim nation. He is not the first Christian to be convicted and sentenced to death for comments made on social media. Many fear that the nation’s blasphemy laws are abused.



South Korea: Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a 45-year-old plastic surgeon who is accused of killing his wife with poison earlier this year. Allegedly, the doctors and his wife were fighting and he killed her for the assets that were in her name. The doctor insists she died of heart attack.



Tanzania: President John Magufuli has announced that he cannot make the “difficult decision” on carrying out executions and will not sign any death penalty certificates. There are currently 472 individuals on death row, 20 of them being women. Some are encouraging the president to outright abolish the death penalty in the country. The last execution carried out in Tanzania was in 1994.



United States of America: A jury has recommend that 62-year-old Lorraine Alison Hunter be sentenced to death in California. The decision was unanimous. Lorraine is convicted of murdering her husband, Albert Thomas on August 21, 2017, in order to collect his insurance money. Albert had a life insurance police through his job and Lorraine attempted to take out an additional insurance policy, by forging his signature, six months before his death. Lorraine’s daughter testified during the trial, admitting she helped plan the murder. During the trial, evidence was introduced that showed she had previously received an insurance payout following the death of her first husband, who was murdered in 1996. No arrests were made or charges filed in that case. Lorraine’s sentencing will take place later this year.

Dylann Roof, a white supremacist who has been sentenced to death for murdering nine black worshippers in South Carolina in 2015, has requested that his attorneys be removed from the case. In a hand-written letter to the judge, Dylann called his two attorneys, who are Jewish and Indian-America, his “political and biological enemies.” He also said that it was impossible to trust them and work with them, arguing that they do not have the “same interests relating to [the] case.”

James Bradley, Jr., the man who is alleged to have driven a tractor trailer filled with undocumented aliens, to San Antonio, Texas, will not be sentenced to death. Ten individuals died while they were trapped in the trailer, without water and air conditioning. The federal government has announced that they will not seek the death penalty. He could be sentenced to death. James alleges that he did not what cargo was in the trailer. The prosecution alleges that he was aware of what he was transporting and abandoned it when he heard them banging on the trailer.

US District Judge Murray Snow has ruled that Arizona does not have to reveal their execution drug supplier. In a lawsuit brought against the state, opponents argued that the public had a right to know. Many news organizations, including The Associate Press were involved in the lawsuit. They argued that the information was necessary so the public could determine if executions were being carried out humanely.



Vietnam: A week ago, 28-year-old Nguyen Van Tinh and 37-year-old Le Van Tho escaped from death row in a Hanoi prison. They have now been recaptured by the police. They were arrested separately. Tinh was sentenced to death for heroin trafficking. Tho was sentenced to death for drug trafficking, murder, and fraud. The two shared a cell at the time of the escape. The prison guards are currently under suspicion. The duo unlocked their cuffs, dug a hole in their cell wall and climbed out of the prison using rope.

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