January 25, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 04

Indonesia: Thirty-five-year-old Frenchman, Felix Dorfin, was awaiting a trial, that could result in the death penalty for him if convicted. He is accused of trafficking drugs. Felix managed to break out of jail by sawing through the bars on a second floor window and rappelling down using a sarong. A manhunt has been launched to find Felix.


Iran: On Tuesday, January 15, 2019, Mohammad Javad Shams was executed by public hanging in Falavarjan City in Isfahan Province. He was convicted of murdering five-year-old Melika and raping her older sister, whom he had also kidnapped, along with their brother.

On Wednesday, January 17, 2019, a 29-year-old was executed by hanging in Babol. The unnamed inmate was convicted of murder during the course of a robbery in September 2012.

On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, Rahman Jasemi Zargani was executed by hanging at Sepidar (Qods) prison in Ahvaz. Rahman, the father of two children, was convicted of murdering a relative nine years ago. Supports of Rahman argue that the killing was accidental.


Philippines: President Rodrigo Duterte has introduced a bill which would reduce the age of criminal liability from 15 to nine. Several Senators have spoken out in opposition to the President. President Duterte won his election based on his campaign promises to eliminate crime, drugs, and corruption. Since taking office, President Duterte has stated that the issues were much large then he had imagined. International children and human rights organizations have opposed President Duterte’s plan.



Saudi Arabia: Abdullah bin Hajri bin Jabir al-Mu’allad has been executed by beheading for the murder of fellow Saudi national Sultan bin Dhaifallah bin Nawar al-Buqami. The stabbing occurred after the two had a rift. Also executed on Thursday, January 24, 2019, was Ibrahim bin Nasser bin Madhel Al Harith. He was convicted of murdering Muhammad bin Nasser bin Saad al-Sawar after the two had a dispute. Both cases had their sentences upheld and their appeals rejected by the appeals court and the Supreme Court prior to the executions being carried out.



United Arab Emirates: Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for a Bangladeshi man who is on trial for murdering five individuals, by stabbing them to death, inside a massage parlor in Abu Dhabi. Before ruling, the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance will hear from the families of the victims, in order to determine if they are willing spare the man’s life in exchange for blood money. Eight others have also been charged in the case.



United States of America: Lawmakers in South Carolina are considering a bill which would make electrocution the primary method of execution in the state. The state has 37 inmates on death row and has had trouble, like many other states, obtaining the necessary drugs for execution by lethal injection, the current primary method of execution in the state.


A Spaniard, 46-year-old Pablo Ibar, has, for the third time, been found guilty of murdering a nightclub owner and two dancers in Florida in 1994. During Pablo’s first trial, the jury was unable to agree upon a verdict. In a second trial, Pablo was found guilty and sentenced to death. In 2016, Pablo was granted a new trial by the Florida Supreme Court due to “numerous deficiencies and failures” of his lawyers. Pablo will receive his sentence in February.


The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to hear the cases of two Oklahoma death row inmates who allege that racial bias was a significant, contributing factor to them receiving the death penalty instead of a lesser sentence. The two inmates, Julius Jones and Tremane Wood, had separate appeals filed, although they made similar arguments. Both men are black. The men were attempting to use a new study which shows racial bias in Oklahoma’s use of the death penalty to have their sentences overturned. The Supreme Court of the United States rejected the appeals, agreeing with the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals, which ruled that the study did not qualify as new evidence worthy of review.


Lawyers for Texas are arguing before the Texas Supreme Court, asking that the state continue to be allowed to shield the identities of those who supply execution drugs. The lawyers argued that revealing such information could endanger the employees of the companies who make the drugs, and inhibit the ability of the state to carry out executions.


Johnnie Alfred Worsley died of natural causes on October 29, 2018, while on death row in Georgia. He was 57 years of age. Johnnie was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of 36-year-old wife, Flora J. Worsley and her daughter, 17-year-old Yameika Bell on March 7, 1995, in Columbus, Georgia. Johnnie then fled, before stopping and confessing to a Baptist minister, who contacted authorities.

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