April 19, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 15

India: Ambadas, Bupu, Rajya Shinde, Raju Shinde, Suresh Shinde, and an unnamed juvenile have had their convictions overturned and been allowed to return home. The six men were convicted in 2006 for the 2003 murder of five members of another family in Nashik. They were all sentenced to death. Not only has their convictions and sentences been set aside, the Supreme Court, in an unprecedented move, ordered the government to compensate each of the men. They have since been released from prison and reunited with their families.

The Supreme Court has commuted a death sentence to life in prison for an unnamed inmate who has been on death row for 17 years. The court ruled that the individual had such a severe mental illness that he was unable to “understand the impact and purpose of his execution because of his disability.”

Iran: On Sunday, April 7, 2019, 36-year-old Davoud Mohebzadeh was executed by hanging at Gorgan prison. He was executed for the murder of another individual after the two had been involved in a fight in 2016.

On Thursday, April 11, 2019, Taha Shirdookht and Kazem Minaei were executed by hanging at Adel Abad prison in Shiraz. Both were executed for murder and drug offenses. They were arrested approximately five years ago.

North Korea: Two women have been publicly executed in Chongjin, North Hamgyong Province, with a third woman being jailed for life. All three were accused of being fortune tellers who had formed a collective. They claimed that they could use two children to predict the future. The execution occurred to “maintain social order.”

Saudi Arabia: Two Indian nationals, Satwinder Kumar of Hoshiarpur and Harriet Singh of Ludhiana, have been executed by beheading. Both men were executed on February 28, 2019. They were convicted of murdering Imamuddin, a fellow Indian national, after a fight.

Singapore: Mohamed Shalleh Abdul Latiff has been sentenced to death after being convicted of trafficking drugs. Mohamed, who was a delivery driver, argued that the did not know he was carrying drugs. He thought he was delivering contraband cigarettes.

United States of America: Prosecutors have announced that if they are able to win a guilty conviction for 73-year-old Joseph James DeAngelo, they will seek the death penalty. Four California. district attorney made the joint announcement. Joseph, who is also known as the “Golden State Killer,” is accused of over a dozen rapes and murders over an 11 year period, from 1975, to 1986. During that time, Joseph was a police officer in two small-town police departments in California. Joseph was finally caught in 2018, after being linked to the crimes by DNA evidence.

Death row inmates in Tennessee. have appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States, after the Tennessee Supreme Court threw out their case. The death row inmates are arguing that the three drug lethal injection protocol causes severe pain and suffering during the execution. Additionally, inmates are suing to have the names and suppliers of the execution drugs released. That information is currently kept secret, by state law, in order to protect the suppliers.

The Supreme Court of the United States has refused to take up the case of South Dakota death row inmate Charles Rhines. Attorneys for Charles were arguing that jurors were unfairly prejudice against Charles because he is a gay man. Charles is convicted of the 1992 murder of Donnivan Schaeffer, who interrupted Charles while he was robbing a doughnut shop.

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