October 6, 2017

IDPN 2017 Issue 40

India: The nation is looking to alternative for carrying out executions. Currently, executions are carried out by hanging. The Supreme Court has asked that the government to provide them with alternative option within three months. According to the nation’s constitution, the convicted have the right to a dignified mode of execution. The issue of the method of executions was brought before the court by a petition that alleges there are more humane ways for the death penalty to be carried out. The petition also challenges the constitutionality of the death penalty.



Iran: On Thursday, September 21, 2017, Ahad Pourtaghi was executed by hanging in Tabriz. He was convicted of murdering his wife in 2012.

On Tuesday, September 26, 2017, Moslem Tamrkhani was executed by hanging at Urmia Central Prison. He was convicted of murder.

On Thursday, September 28, 2017, at Kerman Prison, a man identified by initials only was executed by hanging. He was also convicted of murder.

A 74-year-old man has been sentenced to death for hosting “mixed and half-naked parties” that involved drugs and alcohol. Additional claims indicate that women were sexually harassed at these parties. The man is believed to be the leader of a corruption gang, which would also dub “obscene” Hollywood films into Persian and release them.



Kuwait: The Emir of Kuwait has commuted the death sentences of 15 Indian nationals to life in prison. The prison sentences of 119 other Indian nationals have also been reduced.



Malaysia: Kim Yun Soung, a South Koreas student, was freed from death row after it was proven that a police officer had lied several times while under oath. Kim was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in October 2016. He has been acquitted and released.



Nigeria: Twenty-five-year-old Izunna Ajaere, a hairdresser, has been sentenced to death for stealing a laptop and mobile phone by using a gun. Izunna and an accomplice forced their way into an apartment and locked the victim inside, intending to rob others in the building. However, the victim was able to escape and notify the police.



Saudi Arabia: On Monday, October 2, 2017, five Saudi nationals and one Pakistani national were executed by beheading. The Pakistani national was executed on drug trafficking charges, while all five Saudi nationals were convicted of homicide.



United States of America: On Thursday, October 5, 2017, Michael Ray Lambrix, a/k/a Cary Michael, was executed by the state of Florida. He was pronounced dead at 10:10 pm EST, after his execution was delayed several hours due to appeals before the Supreme Court of the United States. Michael was convicted of murdering Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983, in Labelle, Florida. He continued to insist upon his innocence. Read more about Michael and his case here.


On Thursday, October 5, 2017, Jeffrey Borden was scheduled to be executed in Alabama. His execution was stayed by US District Court Judge Keith Watkins in order to allow Jeffrey to continue challenging Alabama’s execution method. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals had previously granted a stay based on similar arguments, however that stay was overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States. Due to the late hour in which Judge Watkins issued his stay, the Alabama’s Attorney General’s Office declined to appeal the stay to the Supreme Court again. Jeffrey is convicted of the murder of his estranged wife Cheryl Borden and her father Roland Harris in Gardendale, Alabama. Read more about Jeffrey’s stay and case here.


In 2003, John Thompson was released from death row in New Orleans, Louisiana after suppressed evidence showed that John’s DNA did not match that of the killer. John had been convicted of the murder of hotel executive in 1985. He spent 14 years on death row for a crime he did not commit. During that time he had received seven execution dates. Just 30 days before his seventh execution, his lawyers discovered a laboratory report that showed that John’s blood type did not match evidence found at the scene. This evidence was originally suppressed by the prosecution, as a prosecutor admitted on his deathbed. In 2003, a jury acquitted John and he was released. On Tuesday, October 3, 2017, John died of heart attack in a New Orleans hospital. During his 14 years free, the same amount of time he had spent imprisoned on death row, John became a churchgoer and got married. He established an organization to help and house former inmates. Please pray for his family.


The Nevada Supreme Court has upheld the death sentences for Donte Johnson, who is convicted of murdering 19-year-old Jeffrey Biddle, 20-year-old Tracey Gorringe, 19-year-old Matthew Mowen, and 17-year-old Peter Talamantez in Las Vegas in 1988. The four men were bound and gagged while Johnson and two others ransacked the home. Johnson shot each man before he left. Johnson was convicted in 2000, and sentenced to death in 2005.


The last execution in Kansas was in the 1960s, however, it remains legal in the state. There are 10 men on death row in the state, all in various states of their appeals process. The current death chamber is located at Lansing Correctional Facility, however the Department of Corrections is seeking to rebuild the prison, prompting talks that perhaps the execution chamber should be moved to El Dorado, where death row inmates are housed. No decisions have yet been made.


Duane Buck has had his death sentence overturned in Texas. Duane’s guilt has not been called into question, however, Duane received a new sentencing trial after the Supreme Court ruled that the testimony of a psychologist was racist. In his new sentencing hearing, Duane received a life sentence, plus two 60-year terms. Duane is convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend for breaking up with him and one of her friends. He also attempted to murder his stepsister.


On Sunday, October 1, 2017, Donnie Hulett was found unresponsive in his cell. Attempts to revive him were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at 6:45 am. An investigation into his death is being conducted, although suicide is suspected. Donnie was convicted of murdering 62-year-old Larry Phelps and 69-year-old Arvine Phelps (brothers), on July 22, 2002, in Walker County Georgia.



Vietnam: Nguyen Xuan Son was sentenced to death last week by a court in Hanoi for his role in a multi-million-dollar corruption case. Son, a board chairman for PetroVietnam, illegally appropriating $13.6 million from OceanBank. He was convicted of embezzlement, abuse of power, and deliberately violating state regulations on economic management. Son has claimed that he is innocent on the charges of embezzlement and abusing his power. He is seeking a reduction in his sentence after confessing to violating state regulations of economic management. Son has not been the only individuals convicted in this trial. A total of 51 bankers and businessmen were involved. Sentences have varied.

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