January 11, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 02

Belarus: Thirty-six-year-old Aliaksandr Asipovich has been sentenced to death for the brutal murder of two girls. Their bodies were discovered on July 20, 2018, inside the bathroom of Aliaksandr’s apartment. They had been beaten to death. Aliaksandr has confessed to the crime, although he can appeal his sentence.


China: Qin Pengan was executed for injuring 12 kindergarteners in a knife attack in January 2017. According to local news, Qin carried out the attack for revenge because his life was not going the way he wanted and he had a dispute with a neighbor. Qin’s death sentence was carried out after approval by the China’s Supreme People’s Court.

Thirty-six-year-old Zhang Koukou was sentenced to death for the murder of Wang Zixin and his two sons, Wang Zhenghun and Wang Xiaojun. Koukou was sentenced to death by the Hanzhong Intermediate People’s Court. The three victims were neighbors and were allegedly killed in revenge for the death of Koukou’s mother. Koukou plans to appeal the ruling.


India: On Wednesday, January 9, 2019, the Supreme Court commuted the death sentence of 47-year-old Santosh Mane to life in prison. Santosh, formerly a driver with Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation, was convicted of killing nine individuals after he went on a driving rampage. Santosh had hijacked a bus after his working hours in Pune. Lawyers of Santosh have argued that he committed the crime in a “feat of mental unsoundness,” which would prevent him from being executed.



Iran: An unnamed prisoner has been executed by public hanging in Kazerun in southern Iran. The prisoner, the first reported execution of 2019, was convicted of raping two 15-year-old boys in 2016.



Maldives:A 25-year-old woman has been sentenced to death, in absentia, by stoning by Magistrate Judge Mohamed Moosa. She has been convicting of having extramarital sex. The sentence was based solely on a woman’s confession. The woman’s crime came to light when she had a child. The sentence makes no mention of the father of the child.



Pakistan: Since military courts were established in January 2015, 717 accused terrorists have been sent to the courts, with 646 cases finalized. Of those 646, 345 were sentenced to death and 296 given rigorous imprisonment for varying years. Of the 345 sentenced to death, 56 have been executed. Five individuals before the court have been acquitted.



Saudi Arabia: Mohammed Bilal, a Pakistani national, has been executed in Dammam for murdering Abdullah bin Ali bin Eid al-Harbi. Mohammed hit Abdullah on the head with a steel pipe, killing him, after the two had a disagreement.



Somalia: Twenty-five-year-old Hassan Ali Hassan and 22-year-old Abdirahman Isse Ali have been executed by the military in Mogadishu. The two men were convicted of a November 2016 murder. Executions are carried out by military firing squads.



United States of America: Emanuel Aaron Gissendanner, an inmate who has been on Alabama’s death row for the past 15 years, has been granted a new trial by the Alabama Supreme Court on the grounds of ineffective counsel. Emanuel was convicted and sentenced to death for the 2001 kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Margaret Snellgrove. Emanuel’s sentence was first overturned in 2007, by Dale County Judge Kenneth Quattlebaum. Judge Quattlebaum found that the defense failed to investigate and prepare for the trial and that the prosecution failed to release evidence to the defense. The state appealed to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals, who overturned Judge Quattlebaum’s ruling and reinstated Emanuel’s sentence. The Alabama Supreme Court overruled the Appeals court, granting a new trial.


The Alabama Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence of Jessie Livell Phillips. Jessie is convicted of murdering his wife, Erica Droze Phillips, and their unborn child on February 27, 2009, in Guntersville, Alabama.


Nevada death row inmate Scott Raymond Dozier was found hanging in his cell on Saturday, January 5, 2019. Scott was 48 years of age. He had asked that all his appeals be halted and his execution allowed to proceed, repeatedly stating his desire to be executed, even if it would be painful. His execution, however, was continually delayed over concerns regarding the execution drugs. Scott was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 22-year-old Jeremiah Miller on April 18, 2002, in Las Vegas, Nevada.


A bill has been brought before the Kentucky House of Representatives that would abolish the death penalty in the state. The bill would also convert all current death sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Kentucky has not sentenced someone to death in the last eight years.


A representative in the South Carolina House of Representatives has filed a bill that would allow make electrocution the standard method of execution in the state. The state currently has 36 inmates on death row. The last execution in South Carolina occurred in 2011, and in 2013, the supply of execution drugs ran out. According to Eddie Tallon, the sponsor of the bill, the state is unable to obtain additional drugs because the companies fear retribution if their names are made public. Also in the bill, is a provision to protect the identities of companies who supply execution drugs.


The Supreme Court of the United States has ordered that Justin Wolfe, a former death row inmate in Virginia have his appeal heard. Justin has confessed to ordering the murder of 21-year-old Daniel Petrole, Jr., a marijuana supplier who supplied to Justin, in March 2001. Now, Justin is arguing that he was coerced into giving a confession by “vindictive” prosecutors. The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the case must be considered by a Virginia court. Justin was initially sentenced to death, however, his sentence was overturned by US District Court Judge Raymond Jackson. Justin received a new sentence of 41 years in prison, with 15 years credited for time already served.

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