December 14, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 50
Iran: On Tuesday, December 4, 2018, Jamshid Agha-Rahimi was executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas Central Prison. He was convicted of murdering an individual who had previously abused his sister.
On Thursday, December 6, 2018, 12 prisoners were executed by hanging a Kerman Central Prison. Most of those executed were convicted on drug related charges. Four of the prisoners were identified as Abdolghani Ghalandarzehi, Yaghub Ghalandarzehi, Jalil Khodabakhsh and Yousef Jalaledin. The rest were not identified by name.
On Sunday, December 9, 2018, an unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging at Qazvin Prison. The prisoner was convicted of rape.
On Monday, December 10, 2018, Younes Azizi was executed by hanging at Urmia Central Prison. He was convicted of possessing morphine. He also previously had three other drug related sentences.
Papua New Guinea: Wesley Yanduo, a father of three, has been convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a 14-year-old Naegel John Las in West New Britain in 2015. Yanduo allegedly attacked Naegel in retaliation for another attack where a child was killed. Yanduo attacked Naegel after meeting for compensation where no agreement was reached.
Sri Lanka: President Sirisena has stated that he plans to continue his efforts to implement capital punishment for those convicted of drug trafficking. This decision has drawn criticism from many states in the European Union, along with threats of Sri Lanka losing their preferred trade status with the European Union. Implementation of the death penalty currently faces delays due to a necessary investigation that needs to be conducted.
United States of America: On Tuesday, December 11, 2018, Alvin Braziel, Jr., was executed by the state of Texas. He was convicted of murdering 27-year-old Douglas White on September 21, 1993, in Dallas, Texas. The execution was carried out at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Read more about Alvin and his case here.
On Thursday, December 13, 2018, Jose Jimenez was executed by the state of Florida. The execution was carried out the Florida State Penitentiary in Raiford, Florida. Jose was convicted of murdering 63-year-old Phyllis Minas on October 2, 1992. Click here to read more about Jose’s case.
Fifty-one-year-old Richard Roszkowski, the last death row inmate in Connecticut, has been resentenced to life in prison. His resentencing was due to the 2015 state Supreme Court decision that ruled the death penalty in the state unconstitutional. Richard is convicted of murdering 39-year-old Holly Flannery, her 9-year-old daughter, Kylie, and 38-year-old Thomas Gaudet in Bridgeport in 2006. Before the murder, Holly and Richard had dated. When she broke up with him, Richard stalked her and came to the false conclusion that she and Thomas were romantically involved.
Juan David Ortiz, who worked as a US Border Patrol agent, could be sentenced to death for shooting four women in the head and leaving their bodies on rural Texas roadsides. Prosecutors have announced that they intend to seek the death penalty. Authorities have stated that all the victims were sex workers known by Ortiz, who targeted them specifically. The victims have been identified as 29-year-old Melissa Ramirez, 42-year-old Claudine Luera, 35-year-old Guiselda Alicia Cantu, and 28-year-old Janell Ortiz (born as Humberto Ortiz).
The Mississippi Supreme Court has rejected an appeal from two death row inmates, Thomas Edwin Loden, Jr., and Richard Gerald Jordan, over the sedative midazolam, which the state plans to use in executions. The drug has been at the center of numerous lawsuits through several states, including one that made it to the Supreme Court of the United States, who ruled that it was an acceptable drug to use in executions. Death row inmates, including the two in Mississippi, have contended that the drug is not powerful enough to render them fully unconscious for the execution, increasing the likelihood of experiencing pain and suffering during an execution. In their decision, the Mississippi Supreme Court referenced the 2015 decision by the Supreme Court of the United States, saying that the death row inmates “failed to present any new argument that was not already considered and rejected by the United States Supreme Court.”
Twenty-one-year-old James Fields could be sentenced to death for a federal hate crime that includes the murder of Heather Heyer. During a 2017 white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, James drove his vehicle into a crowd that was protesting the rally. Heather was killed and several others were injured. Heather’s father does not want prosecutors to seek the death penalty and prosecutors have not yet made a public decision. James has already been sentenced to life in prison plus 419 years.
Lawmakers in New Jersey voted to eliminate the death penalty in 2007. Now, after an apparent quadruple homicide, some lawmakers are calling for its return. Earlier this year, Keith Caneiro, his wife Jennifer, and their two daughters were brutally murdered in Colts Neck, New Jersey. Police have arrested and charged Keith’s brother, Paul, with the murders. The prosecutor has stated that he would pursue capital punishment, if it was an option. In an effort to bring back capital punishment, supports note that New Jersey voters, in 1992, elected to keep capital punishment on the books. They are arguing that in 2007, the legislature overruled the will of the people. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy is opposed to capital punishment.