2010: Two Afghan adulterers stoned

5 comments August 15th, 2011 Headsman

On this date last year, the Taliban carried out the public stoning of an adulterous couple who had attempted to elope in northern Afghanistan.

“Even family members were involved,” the New York Times reported, “both in the stoning and in tricking the couple into returning after they had fled.”

as a Taliban mullah prepared to read the judgment of a religious court, the lovers, a 25-year-old man named Khayyam and a 19-year-old woman named Siddiqa, defiantly confessed in public to their relationship. “They said, ‘We love each other no matter what happens,'” [local farmer Nadir] Khan said.

The executions were the latest in a series of cases where the Taliban have imposed their harsh version of Shariah law for social crimes, reminiscent of their behavior during their decade of ruling the country. In recent years, Taliban officials have sought to play down their bloody punishments of the past, as they concentrated on building up popular support.

“We see it as a sign of a new confidence on the part of the Taliban in the application of their rules, like they did in the ’90s,” said Nader Nadery, a senior commissioner on the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission. “We do see it as a trend. They’re showing more strength in recent months, not just in attacks, but including their own way of implementing laws, arbitrary and extrajudicial killings.”

Apparent cell phone video of the execution later surfaced.

Warning: Mature Content. It’s two filmed stonings, after all.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Afghanistan,Borderline "Executions",Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Gruesome Methods,Known But To God,Mature Content,Public Executions,Ripped from the Headlines,Scandal,Sex,Stoned,Summary Executions,Women

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2010: William Garner, arsonist

Add comment July 13th, 2011 Meaghan

(Thanks to Meaghan Good of the Charley Project for the guest post. -ed.)

On this day in 2010, at 10:38 a.m., at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, convicted arsonist and quintuple murderer William L. Garner got the needle for the crimes he had committed eighteen years earlier.

Garner had burglarized the Cincinnati, Ohio apartment of Addie F. Mack on January 26, 1992, after he stole her purse and keys while she was being treated in a hospital emergency room.

After taking some electronics, Garner set three fires within the residence, although he knew there were children asleep inside it. Markeca Mason and Richard Gaines, both 11, Denitra Satterwhite, 12, Deondra Freeman, 10, and Mykkila Mason, 8, all died of smoke inhalation. Addie Mack’s oldest child, 13-year-old Rodriczus Mack, escaped through a window; he was the only survivor.

Rodriczus, Denitra, Deondra and Mykkila were siblings, and Markeca was their cousin. Richard was a friend of Rodriczus who happened to be spending the night.

Thanks to a tip from an observant taxi driver, Garner was arrested the next day and quickly confessed. He considered the children’s deaths to be “accidental” because he only set the fires to obliterate his fingerprints and he believed the children would smell the smoke and be able to get out in time.

Unfortunately, the apartment’s smoke detector was inoperable.

Garner was nineteen years old at the time of the murders. He had a criminal record dating back to age eleven, and following his January 1992 arrest he racked up thirteen behavior infractions in prison … including a fire-setting incident.

A psychologist who interviewed him said he functioned at the level of a 14-year-old, and his IQ tested at 76, barely above the juridical cutoff mark for mental retardation. When asking for clemency, Garner’s attorneys cited these factors as well as his “extremely violent and dysfunctional” upbringing, and also argued that he was brain-damaged due to lead poisoning.

In June 2010, the parole board voted unanimously to reject Garner’s clemency request, stating in its report, (pdf)

Considerable weight was afforded the considerable mitigation presented. It is clear that Mr. Garner suffered developmentally and was raised in an exceptionally and horrendously abusive environment. However, we cannot conclude that the mitigating factors are significant enough to outweigh the aggravating circumstances of an offense resulting in the death of five innocent children.

Garner was executed a month later, using Ohio’s recently-adopted “one-drug” lethal injection protocol (most states use, as Ohio had previously, a cocktail of three). It didn’t go smoothly.

A Toledo Blade article provides a detailed account of his last moments. The prison had to open a second viewing room to fit all the people who came to watch him die.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Arson,Botched Executions,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Diminished Capacity,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,Guest Writers,Lethal Injection,Murder,Ohio,Other Voices,Pelf,Racial and Ethnic Minorities,Ripped from the Headlines,Theft,USA

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2010: 18 in Libya

Add comment May 30th, 2011 Headsman

Last year on this date, Libya — having just days prior been controversially elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council* — celebrated by conducting 18 firing squad executions.

State media reported that 14 were shot in Tripoli, and four more in Benghazi, in unspecified cases that Amnesty International “fear[ed] … fail to satisfy international standards for fair trial.”

Among them were nationals of Nigeria, Chad, and Egypt who, particularly in the first case, might have been condemned at a tribunal entirely conducted in a language they could not understand.

Qaddafi’s Libya has always been opaque about its practice of capital punishment; if it met the international outcry for more information about these 18, this site is not aware of it.

But as with Libya’s neighbor in the so-called Arab Spring, it’s one small reminder that what goes around occasionally (maybe) comes around too.

* In view of the current unpleasantness, Tripoli has recently been suspended from the body.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Disfavored Minorities,Execution,History,Known But To God,Libya,Mass Executions,Murder,Racial and Ethnic Minorities,Ripped from the Headlines,Shot

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2010: Jihan Mohammed Ali and Atef Rohyum Abd El Al Rohyum, lovers

2 comments March 10th, 2011 Headsman

You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

As of this date last year, the latterly deposed Hosni Mubarak still held power of life and death over subjects.

And on this date in 2010, he used it to turn thumbs-down to both Jihan Mohammed Ali and Atef Rohyum Abd El Al Rohyum.

Those two were condemned for the 2004 murder of Jihan’s husband, but Jihan apparently claimed to have acted alone, involving her lover only as an after-the-fact accessory to move the body.

(You know what they say … friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies.)

Atef’s attempts to parlay this information into a new trial or some form of executive mercy fell on deaf ears, prompting a fruitless Amnesty International appeal that Egypt was risking a wrongful execution.

The two were executed on the same day, though not executed together; Jihan hanged in al-Kanater prison outside Cairo, while Atef was put to death in Isti’naf prison.

We suspect that ex-President Mubarak’s regrets, if any, run more to the prosaic opportunities missed in the maintenance and exploitation of power. But given the events of recent months, maybe his soul and his regime alike could have profited from fewer revengeful spirits like Atef.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Egypt,Execution,Hanged,Murder,Ripped from the Headlines,Sex,Torture,Women,Wrongful Executions

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2010: Six Sudanese southerners from Soba Aradi

Add comment January 14th, 2011 Headsman

On this date in 2010, six men from war-torn southern Sudan were hanged in Khartoum’s Kober prison for a deadly 2005 riot.

The protracted north-south Sudanese civil war had only just abated with a tenuous peace treaty earlier in 2005, when Sudanese security surrounded the refugee camp-cum-suburb of Soba Aradi outside Khartoum in May 2005 in a sudden bid to forcibly resettle its predominantly southern population.

The resulting riots burned down a police station and claimed around 13 policemen’s lives, along with many civilians.

Nasty.

“We were forced to protest when a police officer shot a seven year old boy three times in the head”, said Mr. Mile Michael, a South Sudanese living in the area since 1986.

Following the death of the young boy, the slum dwellers burnt down the police office in the area killing some of the officers with machetes and knives in a revenge attack. “We all participated in the burning of the police office because they deceived us that they would support us in resisting the soldiers but they were the first to kill our children, so we were willing to sacrifice ourselves for our children.”

While dozens were rounded up, Amnesty International charged that little save forced confessions and unfair trials distinguished the specific few marked out for hanging.

Sudan’s north-south sectional conflict is the backdrop to this month’s election, which might set the south on a path to political independence from the north.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Hanged,History,Mass Executions,Power,Ripped from the Headlines,Sudan,Wrongful Executions

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2010: Liu Lieyong and Chen Xiaohui, Hubei gangsters

Add comment January 13th, 2011 Headsman

Two “prime members” — in the words of the Xinhua report — of a central China gang were executed on this date last year in Hubei province.

Liu Lieyong* was sentenced to death for the crimes of organizing and leading an organized criminal gang, murder, blackmail, illegal possession of arms and gambling, said a statement from the SPC.

Chen Xiaohui was convicted of participating in an organized criminal gang, murder, intentional injury, inciting disorder and illegal possession of arms.

Another 19 people convicted in the case received jail terms from one year with two-year reprieve to suspended death sentences, said the statement.

The crime gang, founded by Liu in the city of Xiantao in Hubei in 2001, had opened casinos, which were illegal in China, illegally forced the transfer of shares in local bus companies and manipulated local cement and food markets.

Liu instructed gang members, including Chen, to murder one person. Chen was also held responsible for another death and nine injuries, the statement said.

The statement did not give details about their victims. According to a report in the Wuhan Morning Post in February 2008, one of the victims was Hu Dongfeng, head of a rival gang in Xiantao. Six of Liu’s gang members ambushed him and shot him dead.

* Not to be confused with the singer and actress Liu Liyang.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

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2010: Gary Johnson

2 comments January 12th, 2011 Headsman

“I never done anything in my life to anybody,” insisted 59-year-old Gary Johnson as he received on this date last year a lethal injection for a 1986 double homicide.

Life may be a journey and not a destination, but Johnson didn’t have far to travel: he was convicted of a murder just 10 miles outside Huntsville, where the state death house resides.

Specifically, he and his brother Terry allegedly burgled a ranch — and then shot dead the two men who responded to a concerned neighbor’s call about the suspicious activity. One of the victims was heard begging for his life before being shot execution-style.

(Terry Johnson copped a plea and is serving a 99-year sentence. Gary Johnson took his chances at trial.)

Without going so far as to advance any particular brief for Johnson’s actual innocence, we’re compelled to retch a little at this footnote to the Associated Press wire story:

[Gary Johnson’s trial prosecutor Frank] Blazek said investigators found the same slogan etched in concrete outside Johnson’s home and on a T-shirt he was wearing in a photograph: ”Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

What … like the everyday Metallica shirt? Or did he mean the Special Forces icon?*

”It indicated a callousness about human life,” he said.

This guy needs to get out more.

Similar fatuous claims about pop-death iconography as indicia of guilt were leveraged in the now-infamous Cameron Willingham case; there’s something rather troubling about the fact that a quarter-century on, and even with the Willingham embarrassment fresh in the headlines, the prosecutor still finds this inconsequential sidelight compelling enough to mention — and an institutional journalist finds it serious enough to print.

* The last link in this sentence was formerly to a Special Forces gear page showing items for sale with this same logo; the link was in no way sponsored (no link on this site will ever be sponsored), and it was completely relevant to the text since it not only displayed the message in question but the fact that that message is a going commercial concern — i.e., that one can easily buy a shirt with the “damning” slogan. Twenty-eight months after that link was posted, a Google bot declared it unnatural and penalized not my site but the recipient of the link. As usual, Google’s error-prone summary judgments come with no channel for appeal. Though I’ve reluctantly altered the link since the other site doesn’t deserve Google’s vindictiveness, I note here, for the record and biliously, the editorial muscle unjustifiably arrogated by Google’s slipshod algorithm police.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

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2010: Salah ibn Rihaidan ibn Hailan Al-Johani, Medina serial rapist

Add comment January 11th, 2011 Headsman

On this date in 2010, Saudi Arabia carried out its first execution of 2010, beheading Salah ibn Rihaidan ibn Hailan Al-Johani for a reported rape spree in the Muslim holy city of Medina.

Al-Johani was convicted of four rape-robberies with a similar m.o.: pose as a taxi driver, then drive the female passenger to the outskirts of town and assault her.

The sex attacks were uncovered after an attempted rape — commonly referred to as the “Aziziyah girl case” — in 2005. The Aziziyah girl, a 19-year-old secondary school student, was with her sister-in-law heading for her uncle’s home at around 10 p.m. when they got into Al-Johani’s pickup.

As they came close to the uncle’s home, Al-Johani began driving around in circles, saying he was unsure of the location and then drove off at high speed. The two women became suspicious and the Aziziyah Girl threatened to throw herself out of the car if he did not stop.

Al-Johani ignored their demands, and the 19-year-old threw herself out of the car. She died immediately from her injuries. Al-Johani then threw out the other woman who sustained serious injuries.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Beheaded,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Execution,Rape,Ripped from the Headlines,Saudi Arabia

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2010: An al Shabaab rebel commander

Add comment January 10th, 2011 Headsman

According to a Reuters report, it was on this date last year that an al Shabaab militant was publicly shot in Somalia by a pro-government militia.

Al Shabaab — “the youth” — is an offshoot from the (now-history) Islamist alliance involved in that whole Black Hawk Down unpleasantness.

You might remember them from this summer’s World Cup: they’re the guys who bombed World Cup viewers in Uganda, killing 76. Al Shabaab (allegedly al Qaeda-linked) basically controls southern Somalia with its allies.

“We don’t normally kill al Shabaab members,” explained a spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna Waljama’a paramilitary, in cheerily chilling terms. “We arrest them and make them understand that Islam means peace.”

The unnamed character we notice this date apparently failed to “understand,” and was shot for not renouncing his affiliation.

“This commander insisted that all people were infidels except his group … We will execute al Shabaab members who insist that it can be right to kill the innocent. What else are we supposed to do to those who believe they will go to paradise for killing us and the whole human race?”

The execution nevertheless failed to quell the intractable Somali Civil War.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

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Entry Filed under: Borderline "Executions",Capital Punishment,Death Penalty,Execution,Public Executions,Shot

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2010: Six drug traffickers in Isfahan

1 comment January 9th, 2011 Headsman

On this date in 2010, Iran hanged six in Isfahan for drug trafficking.

According to the prosecutor — the partisan voice so often the only one audible from our distance —

Five of these people were members of an organized narcotics smugling league. They used false ID cards and cars with logos belonging to the revolutionary guards (IRGC) and security forces for drug smugling. The sixth person had previously been jailed for drug trafficking and was this time arrested with 38 kilograms of opium.

Iran’s use of the death penalty, liberal in any circumstances, ramped up significantly in 2010 in the aftermath of the near-insurrectionary protests that rocked the Islamic Republic after its dubious 2009 election.

Though Iran took, and in some cases hanged, election protesters, most of its executions have been of conventional criminals … although it’s difficult to differentiate, because Iran is also known to announce more palatable drug-trafficking charges against people who are actually political prisoners.

Under either rubric, the pace alone of those executions has conveyed a terrible message from Tehran.

Part of the Themed Set: 2010.

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Entry Filed under: 21st Century,Capital Punishment,Common Criminals,Crime,Death Penalty,Drugs,Execution,Hanged,Iran,Known But To God,Mass Executions,Organized Crime

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