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Showing posts from January, 2011

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No Second Chances: What to Do After a Botched Execution

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Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. The state shouldn't get a second chance.
The pathos and problems of America's death penalty were vividly on display yesterday when Ohio tried and failed to execute Alva Campbell. Immediately after its failure Gov. John Kasich set June 5, 2019, as a new execution date.
This plan for a second execution reveals a glaring inadequacy in the legal standards governing botched executions in the United States.
Campbell was tried and sentenced to die for murdering 18-year-old Charles Dials during a carjacking in 1997. After Campbell exhausted his legal appeals, he was denied clemency by the state parole board and the governor.
By the time the state got around to executing Campbell, he was far from the dangerous criminal of 20 years ago. As is the case with many of America's death-row inmates, the passage of time had inflicted its own punishments.
The inmate Ohio strapped onto the gurney was a 69-year-old man afflicted with serious ailm…

Iran: New executions in Karaj and Birjand today; One executed in Tehran yesterday

Iran Human Rights, January 31: According to the reports from Iran several people have been executed in different Iranian cities today and yesterday.
In a press conference that was held today, Iran’s prosecutor general, and spokesman of the Iranian judiciary, Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i said that several people have been hanged in the cities of Birjand (east of Iran) and Karaj (west of Tehran) today and one person was hanged in Tehran yesterday reported several Iranian news agencies. According to these reports all of those executed today and yesterday were convicted of drug trafficking.
The reports didn’t mention the exact number nor the identities of those who were executed.
Source: Iran Human Rights, January 31, 2011 - [فارسى] _________________________ Use the tags below or the search engine at the top of this page to find updates, older or related articles on this Website.

Man hanged in Iran for "apostasy"

Iran Human Rights, January 31: One man was hanged in the southwestern Iranian town of Ahvaz convicted of apostasy, reported the Iranian news website Mashregh news today.
According to the report the man who was identified as "Ali Ghorabat" also known as "Saed", was convicted of apostasy for "claiming to have contact with the God and the 12th Shiite Imam". he was executed on Wednesday January 26. in the Karoun prison of Ahvaz, said the report. The title of the report in Mashreghnews was "The bald God was hanged".
Source: Iran Human Rights, January 31, 2011 _________________________ Use the tags below or the search engine at the top of this page to find updates, older or related articles on this Website.

Deserter's execution remains vivid for Whitehall man

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The bravest act Nick Gozik witnessed during World War II wasn't on the battlefield.
On his 25th birthday, Gozik stood witness as Pvt. Eddie Slovik became the only U.S. service member executed for desertion since the Civil War.
Slovik did not try to run from his fate in a French courtyard. He knew he would die within moments, yet he did not cry or whimper or beg for his life.
He was branded a deserter, but he was no coward, Gozik said.
"I've seen a lot of people in the service who didn't want to die, but he knew he was going to die," said Gozik, 90, of Whitehall. "He knew what to expect, and he was going to abide by it."
In November, about 65 years later, Gozik paid his respects to a man he never met but knew at his final hour.
"He paid the price of several thousand people deserting during the war," Gozik said. "Believe me when I tell you, to me, he was the bravest soldier I ever met."
Gozik joined the Army National Guard shortly aft…

Shortage of execution drug leaves Mississippi looking for replacement

Just weeks before Mississippi had back-to-back executions for the 1st time in nearly 50 years, officials were scrambling to find enough sodium thiopental to carry out the sentences.
The executions were carried out as scheduled, but the difficulty in finding sodium thiopental shows Mississippi is not immune from a nationwide shortage of the drug.
State Corrections Commissioner Chris Epps said last week the state is looking for a replacement for sodium thiopental, 1 of 3 drugs used in Mississippi's executions.
"We don't have a choice. We're wearing out our options," Epps said.
Hospira Inc., the only U.S. supplier of sodium thiopental, stopped producing it in 2009.
The company recently announced that it won't resume production.
Epps and the Mississippi attorney general's office said last week that state officials are looking for a different drug for executions, but using a new drug creates the potential for a wave of legal challenges to the state's method of e…

Indonesia: Judges' comments raise hopes for Bali Nine duo

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The Indonesian court that heard the final legal appeals of death row inmates Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (left) has raised the Bali 9 members' chances of being spared death by firing squad.
A written declaration that the right to life ''must not be ignored, reduced [or] taken away by anyone'' made by a panel of 3 judges was sent from Denpasar District Court to the country's Supreme Court last month.
Based on that opinion, and the evidence of the hearings summarised by the judges, the Supreme Court will make the final verdict on the Bali nine members' attempt to have the death penalty reduced to 20-year prison terms. The decision is expected within a few months.
The six-point concluding opinion, obtained by The Age, backs most of the arguments put to the court by the pair's legal counsel and notes that many other countries no longer have the death penalty.
''Human rights constitute the most basic of rights inherent to man and is universal and et…

Iran condemns 2 to death over porn sites

Iranian courts on Sunday sentenced 2 people to death for running porn sites, prosecutor general Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi said, quoted on the Islamic republic's official IRNA news agency.
"2 administrators of porn sites have been sentenced to death in 2 different (court) branches and (the verdicts) have been sent to the supreme court for confirmation," Dolatabadi said, without naming the 2 convicts.
Last December, Canada expressed concern over the reported death sentence handed down to an Iranian-born Canadian resident for allegedly designing an adult website.
Saeed Malekpour, 35, was convicted of "designing and moderating adult content websites," "agitation against the regime" in Tehran, and "insulting the sanctity of Islam," according to an online campaign calling for his release.
Malekpour was detained in Iran after returning in 2008 to visit his ailing father. He was sentenced to death in December.
The Netherlands froze contacts with Tehran aft…

US: Sedative maker deplores death penalty use

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The sole U.S. manufacturer of a sedative Ohio plans to use to execute death row inmates -- and that Oklahoma already uses to do so -- said Wednesday it opposes the practice and has asked both states to stop using the drug.
Pentobarbital maker Lundbeck Inc. says it never intended for the drug to be used to put inmates to death.
"This goes against everything we're in business to do," Sally Benjamin Young, spokeswoman for the Denmark-based company's U.S. headquarters in Deerfield, Ill., told The Associated Press.
"We like to develop and make available therapies that improve people's lives," she said. "That's the focus of our business."
State prison officials in Ohio and Oklahoma said they hadn't seen copies of the letter Wednesday and could not comment.
Oklahoma has used the drug in combination with 2 others in 3 executions, while Ohio announced Tuesday it is switching to the sedative as the sole drug used to put inmates to death.
Ohio has not …

Kentucky executions could be delayed months, official says

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If Kentucky is to continue executing death row inmates, it must find a new source of a drug used in lethal injections or revise the rules to substitute another drug.
The state has lost its supplier of sodium thiopental, an anesthetic used in executions.
Changing the mix of drugs used in an execution would require revising state regulations, a process that would take time and open the door for challenges by defense attorneys and anti-death penalty advocates.
The changes and challenges could take much of the year to resolve, said the Rev. Pat Delahanty, chairman of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
"I don't think there'll be executions in 2011" in Kentucky, Delahanty said.
Hospira, a Lake Forest, Ill., company, announced last week it would not resume production of sodium thiopental.
Kentucky and other states use the chemical as the 1st one injected during an execution, to render the condemned person unconscious, followed by 2 other drugs to stop the inmate…

Iranian-Dutch citizen Zahra Bahrami executed in Tehran

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Iran Human Rights, January 28: Only one day after "the European Union called upon the Iranian authorities to halt all pending executions immediately", Iranian authorites executed an Iranian-EU citizen.
The Iranian-Dutch citizen Zahra Bahrami, who was arrested in the wake of the Ashura (December 27, 2009) protests was hanged in Tehran’s Evin prison early this morning.
Zahra Bahrami was charged with Moharebeh (war against the God) by branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court on August 16, 2010. Her charges included: “acting against national security, propaganda against the establishment, Moharebeh, and membership in the Monarchist Association”.
Mrs. Bahrami was also charged with drug trafficking, a charge that many believe was fabricated against her. Her family have stated these charges are false and that Mrs. Bahrami have accepted the drug charges under pressure.
In the beginning of January 2011 Mrs. Bahrami was sentenced to death for the drug charges by the revolutionary court. It…

Concern over the growing wave of executions in Iran

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The World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) condemns the execution of Mr. Jafar Kazemi and Mr. Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaii, both convicted of Moharebeh "enmity against God", which carries the death penalty, for their participation in post-election protests and membership in the banned opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). OMCT is also gravely concerned about the risk of imminent execution of Mr. Abdolreza Ghanbari, Mr. Ahmad Daneshpour Moghaddam and his son, Mr. Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam, Mr. Javad Lari and Ms. Farah Vazehan, who were as well found guilty of Moharebeh for alleged links to the PMOI. OMCT calls upon the Iranian Judiciary to immediately suspend the execution sentence of the above mentioned individuals as well as halt all executions in Iran. 
According to the information received, Mr. Jafar Kazemi, 47 years old, and Mr. Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaii, 52 yeas old, were hanged, on 24 January 2011, in Evin prison, Tehran, withou…

Afghans face death penalty for converting to Christianity

The U.S. government and some international Christian organizations are lobbying the Afghan government to release two men who could be executed after being arrested on apostasy charges for converting to Christianity.
The U.S. has called on Afghan leaders to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that Afghanistan has endorsed, which theoretically protects freedom of religion for invidiuals. Yet, evangelizing and converting to a non-Muslim religion are forbidden by the Afghan consitution and carry the death penalty.
According to AFP, 22-year-old Afghan Enayat is one of thousands of non-Muslims in Afghanistan who fear for their lives:
"I used to carry my bible everywhere -- I don't any more," says the baby-faced convert, using a pseudonym for fear of being identified and speaking to AFP at the home of a trusted friend, west of Kabul. "I don't want to call myself a Christian, people would think I'm immoral."
Missionaries suspected of try…

UK: Men charged with anti-gay hatred over execution leaflets

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Two men in Derby are the first to be charged under new laws against stirring up hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Razwan Javed, 30, and Kabir Ahmed, 27, were accused of handing out leaflets called ‘The Death Penalty?’ outside a Derby mosque.
It reportedly said that gay people should be executed and the pair are also accused of pushing it through letterboxes.
The pair were reportedly arrested after a tip-off from a member of the public.
If convicted at a crown court, they could face up to seven years in prison or an unlimited fine. They will appear before magistrates today.
This is the first time anyone has been prosecuted for inciting hatred on the grounds of sexual orientation, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
Sue Hemming, a lawyer for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “The charges relate to the distribution of a leaflet, ‘The Death Penalty?’, outside the Jamia Mosque in Derby in July 2010 and through letterboxes during the same month.
“This is the first-ever prosecution fo…

7 hanged in Karaj, west of Tehran; 3 hanged in Ormoumieh, northwest of Tehran

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7 people were hanged in the Ghezel Hesar prison of Karaj (west of Tehran) early this morning [Jan. 27, 2011], reported the Iranian national broadcasting news network IRIBNEWS.
According to the report the prisoners executed today were identified as: 1) "J. A." convicted of smugling 370 grams of crack inside the prison, 2) "M. D." for keeping of 4980 grams of crack, 3) "Gh. B." for buying, selling and keeping 4900 grams of crack, 4) "K. N." for trafficking of 49 kilos and 70 grams of Hashish (cannabis), 5) "D. S." for consuming and keeping 397 grams of heroin inside the prison, 6) "K. B." for keeping and consuming 310 grams of crack inside the prison, and "M. T." for trafficking 61 kilos and 300 grams of crack and consuming opium.
According to the official Iranian news agency IRNA, three people were hanged in the prison of Oroumieh, northwest of Iran earlier today. They were all convicted of drug trafficking and none of…

Taliban insurgents stone a couple to death for alleged adultery in northern Afghanistan

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Horrific video footage has emerged of Taliban insurgents stoning a couple to death for alleged adultery in northern Afghanistan.
Hundreds of villagers can be seen on the video standing around as 19-year-old Siddqa, is buried up to her waist in a hole in the ground.
Two mullahs pass sentence before the crowd begins to throw rocks at her head and body as she desperately tries to crawl free.
After the 25-year-old collapsed to the ground, covered in blood, miraculously still alive, a Taliban fighter then shot her three times.
Her alleged lover, Khayyam, is then marched in front of the crowd with his hands tied behind his back.
He was blindfolded and crouched down close to the ground as he tried to protect his body from the stones.
But he is battered to the floor by a barrage of rocks, before falling silent.
The stoning took place in the district of Dashte Archi, in Kunduz, last August.
Siddqa had run away after being sold into an arranged marriage for $9,000. She eventually ran off with her older…