June 21, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 24


China: Fan Wei, a Canadian citizen, has been sentenced to death for possessing and trafficking methamphetamine. Wei is the second Canadian to be sentenced to death in China this year, among rising political tensions between the two nations. Wei was accused of having a leadership role in trafficking and manufacturing drugs. The Canadian government has requested clemency for Wei and accused the Chinese government of arbitrarily applying the death penalty.



Iran: On Sunday, June 9, 2019, 47-year-old father of three, Hashem Amiri, was executed by hanging at a prison in Gorgan. He was convicted of murdering his employer, after striking him with a rod during an argument. Iran does not separate murders based on intensity and intent, meaning anyone convicted of killing another person is often sentenced to death.


Sixty-seven-year-old Mohammad Ali Najafi, former mayor of Tehran, is facing trial, and could be sentenced to death if convicted, of the murder of his second wife, Mitra Ostad. Mohammad has confessed to shooting Mitra at their home in northern Tehran on May 28. Mohammad has also served as an economic advisor and education minister to President Hassan. Mohammad was elected mayor in August 2017, but resigned less than a year later. Conservatives and ultra-conservatives in the country have criticized many of Mohammad’s actions, and are advocating for a swift trial, without favoritism.


On Saturday, June 15, 2019, Mohammad Shekaf was allegedly executed by hanging at Ahvaz’s central prison in southern Iran. While his execution has not been announced by the government, Mohammad was convicted of murder in January 2015.


On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, three unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. The three men were convicted of rape.


On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Fatemeh Nassiri, a woman, was executed by hanging at Gohardasht Prison. Fatemeh has spent the last 11 years in prison after taking responsibility for a murder committed by her son. A male prisoner was also executed at the same time, however his name was not reported. He was convicted of murdering his wife.



Pakistan: Thirty-six-year-old Ghulam Abbas has spent the last 13 years on death row in the country. Now, the Supreme Court has halted his pending execution, until “further orders.” Ghulam was scheduled to be executed on June 18, 2019, for the murder of a neighbor in 2006. His execution has been stayed, due in part, to pressure from human rights groups who allege that Ghulam is mentally ill and has not received proper medical treatment.


On Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Chanzeb was executed by hanging at Haripur Central Jail. He was convicted of raping and murdering his sister-in-law, who was minor, in 1996.


Also on Wednesday, June 19, 2019, Muhammad Ashraf was executed by hanging at Lot Lakhpat Jail . Ashraf was convicted of murdering three women 18 years ago over matrimonial issues.



Sri Lanka: An unnamed 43-year-old father of three has been sentenced to death after being convicted of possession heroin. He was arrested in January 2013, and found with heroin on his person. He was charged with possession and trafficking.



United States of America: On Thursday, June 20, 2019, Marion Wilson, Jr., was executed by the state of Georgia. He was convicted of murdering 24-year-old Donovan Corey Parks, a prison guard who was off duty at the time of the murder. The murder occurred on the evening of March 28, 1996, in Milledgeville, Georgia. Marion’s execution, the 1,500th execution in the United States of America since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976, was delayed several hours due to appeals.


A measure has been proposed in California, that would be added o the ballot in 2020, asking if capital punishment should be ended in the state. California last carried out an execution in 2006. Since then, the execution protocol has been tied up in various legal battles. Additionally, current Governor Gavin Newsom has issued a moratoriums on execution in state. A similar measure was on the ballot in 2016, which failed to gain the necessary votes. Instead, voters passed a measure that was meant to speed up and resume executions in California. A new poll by UC Berkeley’s Institute for Governmental Studies has found that 52 percent of residents support Governor Newsom’s moratorium. The poll also found that 53 percent favor keeping capital punishment as a “possible punishment for serious crimes.”


The House of Representatives in Oregon has approved, by a vote of 33-26, a measure which would limit capital punishment. Capital punishment had been limited to aggravated murder, which included approximately 20 different circumstances, however, with the new measure, the definition has been limited to four crimes: premeditated murder of a child, murder of another inmate by an inmate already serving time for murder, terroristic acts where two or more people are killed, and the premeditated murder of a police officer, parole, or probation officer. The Oregon Senate recently passed a similar measure, with only three permissible offenses for capital punishment. The House bill will now return to the Senate for approval. Capital punishment cannot be outright banned in the state without a vote of the people.


In 2003, Emanuel Gissendanner Jr., was sentenced to death in Alabama for the kidnapping and murder of 77-year-old Margaret Snellgrove. Emanuel was eventually granted a new trial over concerns that his original trial attorneys did not properly investigate the case and that the prosecutors improperly withheld evidence in the case. Now, in exchange for pleading guilty to murder and forgery, Emanuel will be released from prison on time served.

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