April 13, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 15
Bangladesh: Authorities are proposing that the death penalty be an option for those who are convicted of trafficking methamphetamine. This proposal comes from an increase of methamphetamine being smuggled into the nation. It has been determined that the increased drugs are being brought in with refugees from Myanmar.
China: Amnesty International has determined that China was the top executioner in the world for 2017. The exact number of executions carried out in China is unknown, as that information is considered a state secret. At least 993 executions for 2017 have been confirmed, although the true number is believed to be in the thousands.
Iran: Sina Dehqan has had his death sentenced upheld by the Supreme Court for “insulting prophet Muhammad.” Sina was arrested in 2015, at the age of 19, as he was finishing his mandatory military service in Tehran. He is accused of using a messenger app to share content that has been deemed “offensive to Islam.” Sina, along with another individual, were sentenced to death for sharing the content. A third individual involved has received a prison sentence.
Amnesty International has determined that Iran carried out the second largest number of executions in 2017. Despite ranking so high, the report also noted that executions have dropped by 11 percent in the nation. They also carried out at least 31 public executions throughout the year. The report also indicated that last five executions were those of individuals under the age of 18 at the time of the crime for which they were sentenced to death. This is a violation of international law, which prohibits the execution of individuals who are minors at the time of the crime.
Iraq: According to a report from Amnesty International, a total of 23 countries carried out executions in 2017, among which Iraq ranked fourth.
Pakistan: Asma Nawab has been on death row for the past 20 years. She was sentenced to death at the age of 16, after being convicted of murdering her parents and brother during an alleged robbery in 1998. Asma, her then-fiancee Farhan Ahmed, and two others were arrested and sentenced to death for the crime. Prosecutors said they were motivated by the fact that Asma’s parents would not give permission for their daughter to marry. The Supreme Court has since found that there was insufficient evidence to convict and all have been ordered to be released.
According to a report from Amnesty International, Pakistan ranked fifth in the number of executions carried out in 2017. The report also noted that executions fell by 31 percent in the nation, compared to the previous year.
Saudi Arabia: The kingdom carried out the third largest number of executions in 2017, according to Amnesty International. The report also indicated that executions decreased by five percent in the kingdom. Executions are typically carried out by beheading.
Said bin Ahmed bin Hassan Kariri has been executed in the city of Buraida, according the Ministry of Interior. Said was convicted of sexually abusing a close, female relative, who became pregnant and gave birth. Said was convicted and sentenced to death for rape and incest, using drugs, and driving under the influence of narcotics.
United States of America: On Wednesday, April 11, 2018, Ohio was scheduled to execute William Montgomery. His execution was commuted by Governor John Kasich. William was convicted of murdering 20-year-old Debra Ogle and 19-year-old Cynthia Tincher on March 8, 1986, in Toledo, Ohio. His sentence was commuted at the recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board, who found inconsistencies with the witness statements that were not made known to the defense. Read more about William’s case here.
Dustin Melvin Davison has been sentenced to death in Oklahoma for the murder of two-year-old Kreedin Paul Brooks, the son of his ex-girlfriend. Although Dustin has broken up with Kreedin’s mother, Jennifer Young, he agreed to babysit the child on May 18, 2015. Dustin is convicted of beating Kreedin to death after being enraged about the break-up. Dustin told the police many different stories as to how Kreedin obtained his extensive and lethal injuries. He eventually confessed to slamming the boy’s head into the floor. Dustin’s sentence will be automatically appealed.
By a vote of 4-3, the Florida Supreme Court has ordered that Joseph P. Smith be granted a resentencing trial. In 2004, Jospeh was convicted by a jury of the sexual assault and murder of Carlie Brucia. By a vote of 10-2, he was sentenced to death. Jospeh was appealing his sentence under Hurst v. Florida, which the Florida Supreme Court has ruled only applies to cases after 2002. As Joseph’s jury was not unanimous in his sentencing, he has been granted a new sentencing hearing.