The Blissful Ignorance of American neo-Nazis

The violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville reflects the dangerous, open-the-floodgates culture that having a Bully-in-Chief in the White House has created in America.
Hundreds of protesters descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017 for a “Unite the Right” rally. 
The rally was dispersed by police minutes after its scheduled start at noon, after clashes between rallygoers and counter-protesters, and after a torchlit pre-rally march Friday night descended into violence.
But later that day, as rallygoers began a march and counterprotests continued, a reported Nazi sympathizer drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.
Self-described “pro-white” activist Jason Kessler organized the rally to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. 
Kessler is affiliated with the alt-right movement that uses internet trolling tactics to argue against diversity and “identity po…

Nevada: Lawyers accuse state of intending to get lethal injection drugs illegally, raise specter of cruel execution

Lawyers for a Nevada prisoner who's volunteered to be executed are challenging the state in court for not disclosing more details about how they plan to put him to death, saying the lack of vetting could mean the state's first execution in more than a decade is unconstitutionally cruel and unusual.
In a motion filed late Tuesday, federal public defenders who are representing Scott Raymond Dozier fault the Nevada Department of Corrections for failing to answer "basic questions about what drugs it intends to use in the execution and what execution protocol is in place to effectuate the death sentence." That violates the department's own policy of responding to public records requests within five days, according to the filing.
They're asking for a court to allow expedited discovery on the matter and issue a ruling on whether the execution will proceed lawfully. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday morning in Las Vegas, during which they expect the judge might pu…

Malaysia: An end to mandatory death penalty?

Under Malaysian law, capital punishment (the death penalty) is mandatory for the crime of murder, drug trafficking, kidnapping and several other offences. Since 1992, at least 651 convicted persons (Malaysians) have been given the death penalty, most of them for drug trafficking.
According to the Prisons Department, some 800 people are now on death row after being convicted of drug trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952. A minister in the Prime Minister's Department said recently that the act will be amended to "give back" the discretionary power to the trial judge at the end of a drug trafficking case.
Welcoming this new move by the government, an executive director of Amnesty International Malaysia was quoted as saying that whilst the proposed amendment is only in respect of drug trafficking, she hopes it will become "a first step towards total abolition". Bar Council Human Rights Committee co-chairman Andrew Khoo called upon the gover…

India's Supreme Court stays couple’s execution in human sacrifice case

The Supreme Court has stayed the execution of a couple, sentenced to death in a case of sacrificing a two-year-old boy.
A bench headed by Justice Dipak Misra admitted the appeal filed by the condemned prisoners, Ishwari Lal Yadav, and his wife Kiran Bai, whose death penalty was confirmed by the Chattisgarh High Court in the human sacrifice case.
“Let the lower court records be called for. There shall be stay of the execution of the death sentence. Let the matter be listed before the appropriate bench in the week commencing November 28,” the bench, also comprising Justices Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar, said.
The case dates back to November 23, 2010 when Chirag, the two-year-old son of Poshan Singh Rajput, went missing while playing outside his house in Ruabandha area of Chattisgarh’s Bhilai Nagar.
It was alleged that the two main accused, Yadav and his wife, used to indulge in Tantric (ancient yogic spiritual) practices. Kiran Bai had allegedly asked him to get a small child for sacr…

Truck Driver Indicted on 5 Charges For Immigrant Deaths

A federal grand jury indicted James Bradley, Jr. on five criminal charges Wednesday for his role transporting dozens of undocumented immigrants in an unventilated, crowded semi truck in July. The incident left ten passengers dead. 
The indictment included charges of "conspiracy to transport aliens" for financial gain resulting in death and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. 
If convicted, Bradley could face life in prison — or the death penalty. 
For now, 22 of the surviving passengers of Bradley's trip are being held in federal detention as potential witnesses in Bradley's case. 
The feds fear they'll leave the country if they don't keep them behind bars. 
Bradley initially told authorities he had no idea that there were immigrants packed into the back of his truck, and that he only heard their desperate banging from inside the trailer when he pulled over to use the restroom at a San Antonio Walmart. 
Passengers, however, told the police they wer…

France condemns Iran execution of juvenile offender Alireza Tajiki

France condemns the execution in Iran, on August 10, of Alireza Tajiki, a minor at the time of the events and at the time of his sentencing, and expresses its concerns about reports of the imminent execution of Mehdi Bohlouli, also sentenced to death when he was a juvenile.
This execution is contrary to the international commitments that Iran itself has signed on to, particularly the international Convention on the Rights of the Child.
It is also a step backward with respect to the positive developments we have seen on human rights in Iran, most notably the Iranian Parliament’s adoption of a law on August 13 limiting the scope of the death penalty.
France reiterates its unwavering opposition to the death penalty throughout the world and in all circumstances.
It encourages Iran to continue its efforts and to establish a moratorium with a view to its abolition.
Source: France Diplomatie, August 16, 2017

Rejecting international norms, Iran speeds the execution of minor offenders
On Tue…

Mississippi: Controversial medical examiner backs off ‘shaken baby’ claim in death penalty case

This week, the controversial former Mississippi medical examiner Steven Hayne testified at a hearing for Jeffrey Havard. Havard was convicted in 2002 of sexually assaulting and shaking to death Chloe Britt, the 6-month-old daughter of Havard’s live-in girlfriend. Havard has always maintained that the infant hit her head on the toilet after he dropped her while giving her a bath.
But Havard made some mistakes. He first failed to tell his girlfriend — and later doctors and investigators — that he had dropped the girl. By the time he did, they understandably no longer believed him. But the evidence against Havard has always been thin. It has mostly consisted of testimony from Hayne that Chloe Britt died from shaking, not from a blow to the head consistent with Havard’s story. The symptoms Hayne cited to make that diagnosis have since been called into question in the medical and forensics communities. But the shaken baby syndrome (SBS) diagnosis alone probably wouldn’t have allowed the st…

Mississippi says it has execution drugs amid secrecy fight

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Mississippi prison officials have obtained new supplies of execution drugs, which could allow the state to carry out lethal injections after some other drugs expired, they said in court papers.
The state provided that information Monday in an ongoing lawsuit over its execution methods. 
Mississippi's new execution secrecy law should block lawyers for death row inmates from finding out too much about the state's plans to administer the death penalty, the state said. 
Among the things the state wants is a federal judge to protect the identity of the drug supplier, as well as any clues in other documents about who that supplier might be.
Lawyers for death row inmates, though, are asking U.S. District Judge Henry T. Wingate to force the state to provide more information about Department of Corrections' drug-buying effort, saying it's necessary to pursue their lawsuit challenging Mississippi's current execution method. 
The court showdown will det…

Iran: Torture and Death Penalty for Another Teenager

NCRI - Mehrab Eyvazi, an adolescent who was arrested at the age of 17 with nine others, was sentenced to death by the regime's court for murder. According to reports, in addition to being severely beaten and mayhem in a police station, he is also threatened with rape.
Mr. Eyvazi was under the age of 18 at the time of his arrest, but the forensic court confirmed his rational and mental development in spite of his minor age, which provided the ground for the issue of the death sentence.
A member of Mehrab’s family, in an interview, said: “Mehrab, along with others, was taken to the Intelligence office (detention) after being arrested. They did not allow him to communicate with his family for a long time. He did not even have a lawyer, and was beaten so much during the interrogation that he could not even move.”
This informed source said: “Mehrab, after finding contact with the family, said that they made him get naked and forced him to lie down on the ground while filming him with …

Eight Prisoners Hanged in One Day in Iran's Rajai Shahr Prison

Eight prisoners were hanged in one day in Rajai Shahr Prison while another prisoner at this prison is in imminent danger of execution.
Iran Human Rights (AUG 17 2017): On Wednesday August 16, eight prisoners were reportedly hanged at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on murder charges. Another prisoner was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.
According to close sources, the names of five of the eight prisoners executed are: Mostafa Bashkouh, Rasoul Gol Mohammadi, Shahram Abadeh, Seyed Mohammad Seyed Abdollah, and Moharram Abdi. 
These prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on Monday in preparation for their executions. 
A juvenile offender by the name of Mehdi Bahlouli was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he was reportedly returned to his cell after the complainant on his case file postponed his execution. 
Another prisoner by the name of Majid Rahimi was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he received a thr…

Deadline Approaches for Supreme Court Appeal in Koh Tao Murder Case

CHIANG MAI, Thailand – Five months after the District Court of Appeal in Koh Samui, Thailand, turned down an appeal for two Burmese migrant workers sentenced to death, the legal defense team for the pair are ready now to file an appeal to the Thai Supreme Court in Bangkok.
Win Zaw Htun and Zaw Lin—both in their early 20s—were sentenced by the Koh Samui Township Court in Dec. 2015 for charges they have denied, involving the 2014 deaths of British nationals Hannah Witheridge, 23, and David Miller, 24, on Koh Tao island.
The legal defense team—made up of members of the Thai Lawyer Council, legal advisers from the Myanmar government, and members of non-government organizations advocating for labor rights—would have to file the Supreme Court appeal no later than the Aug. 21 deadline. They have been preparing for the appeal since early March 2017 and have requested monthly extensions to complete the procedure.
U Aung Myo Thant, a defense lawyer in the case, said they are likely to file the…

Missouri Supreme Court denies request for stay of execution

The Missouri Supreme Court will not stop next week's scheduled execution of Marcellus Williams, it said Tuesday.
The court said it will not review the new evidence that Marcellus Williams' attorney submitted Monday, but gave no explanation why. 
Kent Gipson had argued that said a new test proved Williams' DNA was not found on the knife that was used in the 1998 killing of former St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Felicia Gayle in University City.
Gipson said he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and will ask Gov. Eric Greitens to intervene, too. He also said he was surprised with the speed in which the high court denied the stay.
"Certainly something involving a claim of innocence that is this substantial, you would think they would at least write an opinion or at least a short opinion giving the reasons why they denied it, because that makes it more difficult to take it up to a higher court because they don't know exactly on what basis the ruling was made,&…