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November 22, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 46

India: Twenty-five-year-old P Praveen has had his death sentence commuted by the Telangana High Court. Praveen was convicted of the abduction, rape, and murder of a nine-month-old baby in Hanamkonda, Warangal, in June of this year. He was sentenced to death, however, the high court has noted that due to his age, Praveen should be given a chance to reform and become a role model for other prisoners. The high court also took into consideration that this was Praveen’s first “grievous crime.”


Santosh Nat and Tejpal Nat have been sentenced to death for the gang rape and murder of a six-year-old girl in Ayodhya on November 11, 2014. They were convicted by a special Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses court, after years of the case slowing moving through the courts.

 

 

Iran: On Sunday November 10, 2019, two prisoners were executed by hanging at Rasht prison. They were identified as Hossein Arasteh and Rashed Afrouz. Both were convicted of murder. A third prisoner, identified as a former school principle, was executed on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, for the murder of his wife.


On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, Mohammad Hossein Soltani was executed by hanging at the central prison in the southern city Bushehr. He was arrested five years ago and convicted of murdering his sister’s husband.


On Thursday, November 14, 2019, 33-year-old Salman Babanzadeh was executed by hanging at the central prison in Bandar Abbas. Salman was sentenced to death for the murder of his cousin, which occurred four years ago. Salman was sentenced to “qisas” (retribution in kind) and was unable to reach an agreement for “diya” (blood money) prior to the execution.


On Sunday, November 17, 2019, two prisoners were executed by hanging at Mashhad prison, in northeastern Iran. The two individuals were convicted of murdering and assaulting a minor girl on November 24, 2010. Allegedly, one of those executed was a minor at the time of the crime, which is a violation of federal law.

 

 

Singapore: On Friday, November 22, 2019, 36-year-old Abd Helmi Ab Halim, a drug trafficker from Malaysia, was executed by hanging at Changi Prison complex. Abd was convicted of trafficking large amounts of heroin. He sought a pardon, which was rejected, prior to his execution. Abd was arrested on April 9, 2015.

 

 

Thailand: On November 6, 2019, 40-year-old Bart Allen Helmus, an American, his Thai wife 30-year-old Sirinapha Wisetrit, and one other, 41-year-old Noi Ton Nintet, escaped from a Thai courthouse in Pattaya, by stabbing a policeman and forcing a guard to hand over keys. All three were facing trials on drug related charges and could have been sentenced to death. Their escape was ultimate unsuccessful. Bart shot both himself and his wife in an attempt to avoid being recaptured. Bart has now been declared dead, while his wife survived and is once again in police custody. The third individual has also since surrender to the police.


Artur Segarra Princep, a Spanish national, was sentenced to death in May 2016, after being convicted of murdering another Spanhish national in Bangkok. The nation’s Supreme Court has upheld his sentenced, after he sought to have it overturned. Artur, in addition to being convicted of murder, has also been convicted of concealing a body, illegal confinement, and theft. Artur is now seeking a royal pardon and his lawyers are seeking to have him extradited to Spain to serve out his sentence. Spain abolished capital punishment in 1995.

 

 

United States of America: On Wednesday, November 20, 2019, Rodney Reed was scheduled to be executed in Texas. His execution was stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in order to examine claims of prosecutorial misconduct. Rodney is convicted of raping and murdering 20-year-old Stacey Stites on April 23, 1996, in Bastrop, Texas. Rodney’s case has become quite controversial with numerous celebrities, among others, supporting further investigation into his case, as Rodney has continually insisted upon his innocence.


Sean Kratz has been convicted and sentenced to life in prison for the murder of 22-year-old Dean Finocchiaro, with additional prison terms for the murders of 21-year-old Thomas Meo, and 19-year-old Mark Sturgis, on a farm in Solebury Township, Pennsylvania, in 2017. The murders occurred during a robbery gone wrong, where Kratz acted as lookout. Prosecutors had initially announced that they would be seeking the death penalty for Kratz, however after speaking with the families of the victims, and hearing Kratz brag about his plans to fight the death sentence in the coming years.


U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan has issued a stay of execution for all four federal death row inmates scheduled to be executed in December 2019, and January 2020. A fifth death row inmate, Lezmond Mitchell had already been granted a stay of execution. Judge Chutkan granted the stay over arguments that the new lethal injection protocol, a single drug, violates a 1994 federal statute which says federal executions shall be carried out “in the manner prescribed by the law of the State in which the sentence is imposed.” Lethal injection protocol varies from state to state. Attorney General William Barr has announced that he will be appealing this ruling, and is willing to appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States.


A judge has ruled that two 17-year-olds in Texas are not eligible for the death penalty because of their ages. In order to be sentenced to death, a person must be at least 18 years of age at the time of their crimes. The teenagers are eligible to be sentenced to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. The two teens are accused of killing 29-year-old Craig Garner, a husband and father, during a home invasion.


Dameon Jamarc Mosley has been sentenced to death for the murder of Billy Dale Stacks, a clerk at a Conoco gas station, on January 28, 2017, in Tyler, Texas. Dameon had previously committed 13 other burglaries, all while out on parole for four other robberies.


On Friday, November 15, 2019, Circuit Judge Eddy Coleman approved a deal which converts the death sentenced of 69-year-old Roger Dale Epperson to life in prison, without the possibility of parole. Roger has been convicted of murdering 23-year-old Tammy Dee Acker, a University of Kentucky student, in August 1985, at her father’s home. A part of the agreement to have his sentenced commuted, Roger agreed to give up the appeal of his conviction.

 

 

Vietnam: Four individuals, identified as 50-year-old Trieu Ky Voong, 38-year-old Pham Xuan Lan, 36-year-old Song A Sang, and 45-year-old Lieu Van Cay, have all been sentenced to death for trafficking over 100 kilograms of drugs. They were arrested last year following an investigation, with Voong identified as the mastermind. In addition to being arrested and sentenced to death, all have also been fined.

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