May 4, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 18
Egypt: The death sentences for six members of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group have been upheld by the Court of Cassation. They are convicted of attacking a police station in Minya in 2013. During the attack, they stole weapons, murdered at least one policeman, attempted to kill several others, freed prisoners, and set fire to the police station. The defendants may not appeal this decision.
India: Thirty-five-year-old Anil Balagar has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in 2017. He has also been fined. After killing the girl, Anil hid her body in his house until it was discovered due to the smell.
Indonesia: On Thursday, April 26, 2018, eight Taiwanese men were sentenced to death. They were convicted of smuggling a ton of crystal methamphetamine into the country. The men were identified as Liao Guan-Yu, Chen Wei-Cyuan, Hsu Yung-Li, Juang Jin Sheng, Sun Kuo Tai, Sun Chih-Feng, Kuo Chun Yuan, and Tsai Chih Hung.
Iran: On Tuesday, April 24, 2018, Mohammad Jafar Shirzad was executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas Central Prison. Mohammad was convicted of a murder which occurred in February 2015.
On Monday, April 30, 2018, Syyed Iman Hosseini Moqaddam was executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. Hosseini has been dubbed the “fake postman” by the media. He was convicted on charges of public corruption on earth by multiple counts of rape. He has repeatedly denied the accusations.
On Monday, April 30, 2018, 34-year-old Reza Salehi was executed by hanging at Saveh Prison. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a five-year-old child.
United States of America: On Thursday, May 3, 2018, Georgia was scheduled to execute Robert Butts, Jr. His execution was stayed on May 2, 2018, by the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole. On May 3, 2018, the Board overturned their stay and rejected clemency. The Georgia Department of Corrections then rescheduled the execution for Friday, May 4, 2018. Read more about the case here.
Twenty-eight-year-old Esteban Santiago has been spared the death penalty. Esteban agreed to plead guilty and serve a life sentence. He pled guilty to opening fire inside the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, killing five individuals, and wounding six others on January 6, 2017. Although the shooting took place in Florida, Esteban, an Iraqi War veteran originally from Alaska, was tried in federal court. The reason for the shooting has not been made clear. Esteban has since expressed remorse for his crime.
Lawmakers in Louisiana are considering a bill that would require juries be unanimous when sentencing someone to death. Louisiana is currently one of only two states that do not require unanimous jury decisions, with Oregon being the other. Currently 10 out of 12 jurors must agree to the death penalty.
A bill has been passed in New Hampshire that would repeal the death penalty. Governor Chris Sununu has stated that he will veto it. A two-thirds vote is needed in both the state House of Representatives and the state Senate. The bill is not retroactive, meaning those already sentenced to death would remain on death row.