DEATH PENALTY SUMMARY – JUNE 2014
- Tennessee – are reported to be considering bringing back the electric chair in the light of the recent difficulties with the use of lethal injections
- Wyoming – are reported to be considering using a firing squad
- New Hampshire – disappointingly, the second attempt at the repeal of the death penalty was defeated in the Senate on 22nd May. The death sentence remains.
- Missouri – a stay of execution was granted for Russell Bucklew on 22nd May following his claim that a congenital illness would probably cause additional suffering under the current regime of lethal injection
- A report appeared on Google that the US Supreme Court has said states must look beyond an intelligence test score in borderline cases of mental disability to determine whether a death row inmate is eligible to be executed
- #Sudan – Meriam Ibrahim – a Christian woman has been sentenced to hang (and to a flogging) for the ‘apostasy’ of marrying a non-muslim, and for refusing to renounce her Christian faith. An AI email UA was circulated to the DPLWG on 26th May. Information in media on 31.5.14 that she was to be released but there are doubts as to the truth of this. Note – Nesrine Malik expressed concern in the Guardian (4.6.14) that western media are harming Meriam’s chances of release. Initial local opposition had been having an effect, and Government pride is an issue. She criticised David Cameron’s approach. Latest news – Meriam gave birth in chains. She is to be hanged in 2 years.
- # USA – Florida – Michael Duane Zak – UA 140/14 – has exhausted his ordinary court appeals and is seeking executive commutation of his death sentence of life imprisonment. Circulated to DPLWG 28.5.14 (this month’s Urgent Action)
- #Iraq – UA 151/13 – Osama Jamal ‘Abdullah Mahdi’s files are now with the office of the President for review. If his death sentence is ratified, he could be executed at any time. Circulated to DPLWG 30.5.14
- Reggie Clemons – no further news (Website: justiceforreggie.com)
- Hakamada Iwao – information has been received from Caroline Butler that the Devizes Group have been in contact with AI in Japan in order to send cards and messages to Hakamada. Would the Salisbury Group like to do so?
- #Belarus – a response has now been received from SCT with contact details of Barry Hay for seeking further advice – an email was sent on 10th June. Note:
Belarus is the last UN member state in Europe to have retained the death penalty. In 2013 there were no reported executions, but the death penalty was reinstated this year, and to date two men are believed to have been executed. Death row prisoners receive no advance notice and are executed by a bullet through the back of the head. This month the UN Human Rights Council will be focusing on the human rights situation in Belarus – making it a particularly appropriate time for action by Amnesty.