December 28, 2018

IDPN 2018 Issue 52

China: Robert Lloyd Schellenberg, a Canadian national, could be sentenced to death in China on drug smuggling charges. Robert is appealing his case, in which he is accused of smuggling an “enormous amount of drugs.”

Huang Jiahui and Yuan Xiansong, both prominent gang members, were sentenced to death selling drugs, and dealing and transporting drugs, respectively. Another gang member, Xiong Kai, was given a life sentence for transporting drugs.



India: A 42-year-old man has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of his six-year-old daughter. The man committed the crime because he believed that his wife was unfaithful and that the child was not his biological child. DNA evidence proved the rape.



Iran: On Monday, December 17, 2018, Vahid Jahangiri was executed by hanging at Isfahan Central Prison. Seven years ago, he was convicted of murder. Vahid has always denied the charges.

On Saturday, December 22, 2018, Hamid Bagheri Dermani was executed by hanging. Hamid, nicknamed the “Sultan of Birumen” by the media, was convicted of economic corruption and bribery.



Japan: On Thursday, December 27, 2018, 60-year-old Keizo Okamoto and 67-year-old Hiroya Suemori were executed by hanging at Osaka Detention Center. They were convicted of murdering a 43-year-old company president Kazuo Kengaku and 23-year-old employee Hiroyuki Watanabe at an investment company. After killing them, they buried them in concrete and dumped the bodies. Keizo and Hiroya also violated the firearm and explosives control laws. They were also convicted of attempting to orchestrate another scam targeting a brokerage firm.



Somalia: On Monday, December 24, 2018, 41-year-old Abdulkadir Abukar Shaa’ir was executed by firing squad. He was convicted of participating in three recent, deadly bombings in Mogadishu. The bombings target hotels and restaurants and killed over 20 individuals. Abdulkadir was a member of al-Shabaab, a terrorist group.



Syria: Inmates who have since been released from prison are indicating that the prisons are being emptied as the government pushes to execute political prisoners. Allegedly, executions have greatly increased inside the prisons. They also reported that the conditions within the prisons often left the inmates malnourished, medically neglected, with many experiencing psychological breakdowns.



United States of America: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is appealing his death sentence and seeking to overturn his conviction. Tsarnaev is convicted of being one of the perpetrators of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, which killed three individuals, including an 8-year-old boy, and injured 260 others in Boston, Massachusetts. He and his lawyers are arguing that due to the extensive media coverage, he was unable to receive a fair trial.


Willie Dorrell Minor, a death row inmate in Alabama, died on December 21, 2018. He was 45 years of age. It is thought that Willie died of natural causes. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of his 2-month-old son Ebious Jennings in 1995. Ebious died from blunt-force trauma and brain damage caused by excessive shaking. Willie escaped custody while awaiting trial for the murder and was later recaptured.


Michael Wearry, a former death row inmate in Louisiana could soon be released on parole, after reaching a plea deal. Michael was initially sentenced to death for the 1998 murder of 16-year-old Eric Walber. Michael’s death sentence was set aside in 2016 by the Supreme Court of the United States, who found that the prosecution withheld important information that could have aided his defense. His new trial was scheduled to begin early in 2019, however, Michael agreed to plead guilty to the murder in exchange for a sentence that makes him eligible for parole after serving 25 years in prison. After receiving credit for time already served, Michael will become eligible for parole in just over five years.

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