July 12, 2019

IDPN 2019 Issue 27

India: Amendments to an already existing law has been introduced to lawmakers in India. The 14 amendments to the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012, would increase punishment for committing sexual crimes against children. Included among the amendments would allow for capital punishment, as well as, fines and imprisonment. Some of the amendments would also change the language of the bill, making it gender neutral.


Thirty-five-year-old Vishnu Bamora has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of a nine-year-old girl. He was also sentenced to life in prison for unnatural sex with an eight-year-old girl and three and seven years in prison for kidnapping a minor and abduction for forced and illicit intercourse. DNA evidence was used to convict Vishnu.



Iran: On Wednesday, July 3, 2019, Mehdi Assadi and Hassan Baradaran were executed by hanging at Rajai-Shahr prison. Both men were convicted of murder.


On Friday, July 5, 2019, a report was made that a male prisoner was executed by hanging at a prison in Birjand, in northeastern Iran. The man, who was not identified by name, was convicted of murder. The exact day of his execution was also not reported.


A law, which has been heavily criticized by Iran’s Association of Surgeons, would allow convicts to “voluntarily offer his or her organ[s] before or after execution.” A judge, the ministry of justice, and the coroners’ office would have to approved the organ donation. Tests would also be conducted to ensure that there are no medical obstacles. Some surgeons have spoken up, calling the law “immoral” and “against all the values of our profession.” Additionally, they claim that no-one sentenced to death could be in the right frame of mind to voluntarily consent to organ donation. Iran has a large need for organs for transplant.



Japan: Sixty-nine-year-old Kosei Homi is expected to have his death sentence finalized by the Supreme Court. Kosei is convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of five neighbors in Yamaguchi Prefecture in western Japan in 2013. Homi’s lawyers argued that he could not be held criminally responsible for his actions by reason of insanity or diminished mental capacity.



Nigeria: The Senate is considered a bill that would allow the death penalty for rapists in the hopes that it will serve as a deterrent to the crime. The increased concern comes amidst a rise in the number of rape and defilement of minors in the country.



Somalia: On July 3 and 4, ten men were killed by two separate firing squads in the towns of Hagar and Salagle in southern Somalia. The men were accused of spying for the Somali govenrment, Kenya, and the Central Intelligence Agency in the United States. All the men were convicted by a military court, where the defendants are not granted access to lawyers. Evidence mostly consists of confessions, which many believed are obtained through torture.


On Saturday, July 6, 2019, three men were killed by firing squad after they were convicted of being soldiers for the Somali government.


On Sunday, July 7, 2019, four individuals were killed in Jamame, immediately after a judge in an al-Shabab court found them guilty. Two men and a woman were executed by firing squad for being Kenyan spies. Eighteen-year-old Nur Bakar Jirow was stoned to death for having sex with a 16-year-old girl. First accused of rape, Nur claimed the sex was consensual. The judge ruled that execution was deserved because Nur was married.



Sri Lanka: The nation’s Supreme Court has ordered that four individuals who have had their death warrants signed cannot be executed until at least October 30. Their death warrants were signed by President Maithripala Sirisena last month. They were convicted and sentenced to death for drug related offenses. The names of the individuals have not been released. The Supreme Court ordered that the executions be delayed after a Fundamental Right petition was filed. Sri Lanka has not carried out an execution since 1976.



Thailand: Twenty-three-year-old Ronnakorn Romruen, a garbage collector, has been sentenced to death for the rape and murder of 27-year-old Miriam Beelte, a German tourist. Miriam was attacked while visiting a historic stone monument on April 7, 2019. She was raped by Romruen, before he beat her to death with a rock in order to prevent her from reporting the crime. He then hid her body. After being arrested, Romruen confessed to the crime, alleging that he was under the influence of drugs at the time of the crime.



United States of America: On Wednesday, July 10, 2019, Kareem Jackson was scheduled to be executed in Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled for Thursday, January 16, 2020, by Governor Mike DeWine. Kareem is convicted of the murder of Antonio Hunter and Terrance Walker in Columbus, Ohio on March 25, 1997.


The Senior Circuit Court Judge J. Burdette Pratt is expected to throw out the 2011 convicted of Angela McAnulty, the only woman on death row in Oregon. Angela is convicted of torturing and starving her 15-year-old daughter, Jeanette Maples. Judge Pratt found that Angela was not properly represented or advised by her lawyers during her trial, specifically regarding her decision to plead guilty when the prosecution hadn’t agreed to drop the death penalty. There are 29 others on death row in Oregon, all men, although executions are currently on hold due to a moratorium established by then Governor John Kitzhaber in 2011. Currently Governor Kate Brown has continued to support the moratorium on capital punishment.


On Sunday, July 7, 2019, John George Brown, a death row inmate in California, was found unresponsive in his cell at San Quentin State Prison. He was eventually pronounced dead at 6:47 pm. John was 71 years of age. He was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a 27-year-old Garden Grove Police Department Officer Donald F. Reed in 1980.

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