November 2, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 44
China: On Friday, October 26, 2018, two individuals were executed in the southern province of Hainan for the manufacturing of drugs. The men were only identified by their surnames: Xie and Tian. The men secretly conspired to manufacture ketamine. Eleven others were also arrested when the public security department raided their facility. The others were also charged and given sentences varying from jail terms to death penalty with probation.
India: Thirty-three-year-old Rajkumar Kol has had his death sentence commuted to rigorous imprisonment for 20 years. Rajkumar, a former rickshaw driver, had been sentenced to death for digitally penetrating a four-year-old girl. The sentence was reduced because, although it is classified as rape, it was not committed in a barbaric or brutal manner, thereby not falling within the aggravating circumstances to warrant execution.
Pakistan: A court has overturned the death sentenced of Asia Bibi, who was convicted of blasphemy in 2010, and sentenced to death. Asia is a Christian in the predominantly Muslim nation and was accused of insulting the Prophet Muhammad by two of her neighbors. Asia has consistently denied the claim and her case has garnered international attention who criticize the blasphemy laws in the nation. Protests, with possible violence, are expected in the days following the ruling. Asia’s lawyer fears for his safety, as well as the safety of Asia and her family. Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was previously murdered for speaking out in support of Asia and calling for the blasphemy laws to be reconsidered.
Saudi Arabia: On Monday, October 29, 2018, Tuti Tursilawati was executed in Thaif for murder. Tuti, an Indonesian national who was working as a domestic worker in the kingdom, claims that the murder was self-defense from sexual abuse by her employer. Most executions in the kingdom are carried out by beheading. Indonesia is upset at the execution of one of their own and claim that they were not properly informed of the impending execution.
Singapore: Throughout the month of October, six individuals were executed in the nation for drug offenses. Three of the men have been identified as 31-year-old Prabu N Pathmanathan, Irwan bin Ali, and Selamat bin Paki. The executions have caused some to call for the elimination of the death penalty. Executions are typically carried out by hanging. Indonesia is upset at the execution of one of their own and claim that they were not properly informed of the impending execution.
United Arab Emirates: A 31-year-old Pakistani male has been sentenced to death for murdering a fellow Pakistani national after sexually assaulting him and then burying him in the desert. A co-conspirator in the crime has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for his part in the crime, followed by deportation.
United States of America: On Monday, October 29, 2018, Rodney Berget was executed in South Dakota. He was 56 years of age. His execution was delayed several hours due to appeals. Rodney was executed for the murder of 63-year-old prison guard Ronald Johnson during an escape attempt in 2011. Read more about Rodney and his case here.
On Thursday, November 1, 2018, Edmund “Ed” Zagorski was executed by the state of Tennessee. Edmund is convicted of murdering John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter in April of 1983, during a drug deal. Edmund was scheduled to be executed in mid-October 2018, however his execution was delayed after he made a late request to be executed via electric chair instead of lethal injection. The delay was to accommodate his request. Read more about the case here.
The man accused of killing 11 individuals at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 27, 2018, could be sentenced to death. The shooting was identified by law enforcement as a hate crime, which qualifies him for the death penalty. Federal prosecutors have filed 29 counts against the shooter, including civil rights crimes and obstruction exercise of religious beliefs.