Sun Mar 18, 2018 08:16

The Hands off Cain newsletter
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Year 18 - n. 9 - 17-03-2018

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March 15, 2018: Two prisoners were executed in the states of Alabama and Georgia, leading to 5 executions since the start of the year in the US and to 1,471 prisoners put to death since the US resumed executions in 1977.

Michael Wayne Eggers was executed in Alabama.
Eggers (50, White) was convicted of the 2000 murder of 67-year-old Bennie Francis Murray. Walker County jurors in August 2002 voted 11-1 for the death penalty.
On December 30, 2000, Eggers came looking for a job from the 67-year-old Murray, his former employer who ran a travelling carnival concessions business. She did not hire him, but offered to give him a ride and to help him find work elsewhere.
After driving him around, she took him to a remote area where he said he had left his car after accidentally driving it off the road. He later told police that they had gotten into an argument during the ride. In a remote area, Eggers said, he pulled over the car and beat, kicked and choked Murray to death and left her body in the woods.
More than a week later, Eggers was arrested in Florida. Murray's body was then discovered after Eggers told police where it was. At his sentencing after his conviction in 2002, he asked the jury to sentence him to death. His attorneys argue that Eggers is mentally ill, suffering from paranoid delusions since the 1980s. His older brother had similar symptoms and was diagnosed with schizophrenia and institutionalized. He has repeatedly fired his lawyers at various levels of appeals and attempted to represent himself. He believes his lawyers are engaged in a conspiracy against him with the U.S. government and are not properly litigating his case. Thursday's execution is its first of 2018 after the execution of Doyle Lee Hamm was called off last month. An execution team on Feb. 22 punctured Hamm’s legs and groin at least 11 times in an attempt to set an IV.
Eggers was the 62nd person executed in Alabama since the state resumed capital punishment in 1983.
Carlton Gary was executed in Georgia by injection of compounded pentobarbital at the state prison in Jackson. Gary (67, Black) was one of Georgia's most notorious serial killers, coming to be known as the "stocking strangler" who terrorized elderly women in the late-1970s.
Gary was convicted in 1986 on three counts each of malice murder, rape and burglary for the 1977 deaths of 89-year-old Florence Scheible, 69-year-old Martha Thurmond and 74-year-old Kathleen Woodruff. Though charged only in those deaths, prosecutors say Gary attacked nine elderly women in the west Georgia city of Columbus from September 1977 to April 1978. Most were choked with stockings, and seven of them died.
Police arrested Gary six years after the last killing, in May 1984. Gary was linked to seven murders in Columbus, and two sexual assaults that occurred over seven months in 1977 and 1978. He also was tied to the strangulations of two women in New York and attacks on others in the years before the killings in Columbus. Gary pleaded guilty to burglary in the case of Nellie Farmer, who was found raped and strangled in her home in Albany, N.Y., on April 14, 1970, but he said another man killed the 85-year-old woman.
Three months after he was released from prison, Marion Fisher, 40, was found raped and strangled, and in 2007 his DNA was matched to evidence found on her body.
Gary went to prison in New York again in 1977 for possessing a watch taken from a Syracuse, N.Y., home where a 55-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by a man who tried to strangle her. Gary returned to his hometown in Columbus in August 1977 after escaping from jail in New York's Onondaga County, where he was serving a sentence for assault and possessing stolen property.
The first Columbus homicide eventually blamed on the "stocking strangler" was on Sept. 16, 1977, when 59-year-old Mary Willis "Fern" Jackson was found raped and strangled. It was after the third death of a woman in the Wynnton neighborhood that a state and local task force was created. All the homicides attributed to the "stocking strangler" had several things in common. The victims were all women between the ages of 55 and 89. They lived alone and within a mile of each other in Columbus' Wynnton neighborhood. And they were all strangled, most with their own stockings. Then the murders stopped. Janet Cofer, 61, was believed to be the "stocking strangler's" seventh and final victim on April 10, 1978.
In February 1979, Gary was convicted of several armed robberies in South Carolina and was sentenced to prison. He escaped from prison again in 1984 and returned to Columbus.
Fingerprints found at some of the murder scenes were matched to Gary, and he was arrested in 1984. Gary offered to take police to houses he burglarized, though he said another man strangled the women living there. Prosecutors decided to try Gary for the murders of three women — Florence Scheible, 89, Martha Thurmond, 69, and Kathleen Woodruff, 74 — because his fingerprints were found at their homes. Gary's right thumbprint was lifted from the bedroom door frame in Scheible's house, where she was murdered on Oct. 21, 1977. A few days later, Gary's fingerprints were found on the frame of a rear bedroom window of the fifth victim, Thurmond. Her housekeeper found her body the morning of Oct. 25, 1977. And police found a print from Gary's right little finger on the aluminum screen on a window at Woodruff's house. His palm print was on the window sill outside. Woodruff was killed on Dec. 28, 1977. It was later that the testing of DNA, a science that was not available when he wa
s tried in 1986, saved him from execution in 2009. Just four hours before he was scheduled to die, the Georgia Supreme Court called off his lethal injection to allow testing of semen found at the scenes. But testing did little to resolve any confusion. The DNA found on Thurmond was not Gary's. Testing of the DNA found at the Woodruff crime scene was inconclusive. And prosecutors did not test DNA found on Schieble because they thought the same was unreliable.
At the same time, testing confirmed that the DNA on the strangled body of 71-year-old Jean Dimenstein belonged to Gary, however he was never tried for her murder. Gary was the first inmate executed by Georgia this year.
(Sources: The Marshall Project, 15/03/2018, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 15/03/2018)
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March 9, 2018: Singapore executed a Ghanaian man for drug smuggling, rejecting his plea for clemency.
Billy Agbozo, 39, was found guilty and executed on March 9, more than 4 years after his arrest.
He had travelled by plane from Accra to Dubai on April 4, 2013, before boarding a plane bound for Singapore. He arrived at Singapore's Changi Airport the next day and planned to spend five nights in the Asian country.
But he was stopped by checkpoint inspectors who screened his luggage - a black haversack and a red-and-black suitcase.
According to, A White, crystalline substances were found in the wall of the haversack and the inner plastic casing of the suitcase. The substances contained 1.63kg of methamphetamine with an estimated street value of about $135,600.
Details of his recorded telephone conversation with an unknown caller in twi were also captured and presented as evidence against him.
He was arrested and found guilty of illegally importing controlled drugs under the Country's Misuse of Drugs Act.
It not yet known the arrangement made between Ghana and Singapore and whether Accra presented a plea.
His appeal against his conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in February last year.
His petition to the President for clemency was also turned down.
(Source:, 12/03/2018)
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March 12, 2018: A total of 486 cases have come before the military courts since their inception in the year 2015. The army courts, which were set up after passing a constitutional amendment, have concluded 333 cases and awarded capital punishment to 186 persons, said a written reply of the Ministry of Defence during question hour in the National Assembly.
MNA Abdul Qahar Khan Wadan had inquired from the defence ministry about the total number of cases pending in the military courts at present along with details. In reply to this question, the ministry stated that 101 cases were in the military courts and that 52 cases had been dropped.
According to the details provided to the parliamentarians, 79 individuals were awarded life imprisonment by these courts and 47 convicts jailed for 20 years.
The military courts have also jailed one person for 18 years, another convict for 16 years, 13 individuals for 14 years, three persons for 10 years, and two convicts for seven years, the reply said.
Only one individual was acquitted by these courts since their inception, it added.
A total of 332 appeals were filed in military appeal courts out of which 307 had been finalised and only 25 were under process, the lawmakers were further informed.
All the 151 mercy petitions sent to the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) had been rejected by him, it said.
However, the rejected mercy petitions were moved to the President of Pakistan who had turned down 62 of them while 89 of them were under process with Ministry of Interior, the reply added.
In the same connection, a total of 74 cases were termed sub judice in the superior courts, it said, adding that 49 of them were in the Supreme Court of Pakistan, three in the Lahore High Court, six in the Peshawar High Court and 16 in the Sindh High Court.
(Sources:, 13/03/2018)
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March 10, 2018: The leader of an Iranian spiritual movement, whose repeated death sentences drew UN and US condemnation, has been given a five-year jail term after a second retrial, his lawyer said.
In June 2015 and again in September last year, the courts found Mohammad Ali Taheri guilty of “corruption on earth” — the gravest charge in the Islamic republic.
But on each occasion the Supreme Court overturned the death sentence and ordered a retrial.
After the latest retrial, the court convicted Taheri of the lesser charge of “non-aggravated corruption” and sentenced him to five years in prison, his lawyer Mahmoud Alizadeh Tabatabaie told AFP.
But Tabatabaie said he would appeal the conviction as it was made on the basis of a 2013 law that the court was applying retroactively and his client had already served a five-year jail sentence and longer in prison awaiting retrial.
Taheri founded his Erfan Kayhani (“Cosmic Mysticism”) movement in the early 2000s and quickly became a well-known spiritual leader, appearing on state television and giving classes at Tehran University.
He promoted alternative medicine and followed what he said were messages from spirits.
But as his popularity grew, he fell foul of Iran’s clerical establishment and the conservative-dominated judiciary launched a crackdown on what they dubbed his “satanic” sect.
He was first detained for a short period in 2010 and was then rearrested in May 2011 and held in solitary confinement before being charged with “insulting Islamic sanctities” and “corruption on earth.”
In July, August and September, authorities arrested at least 25 of his followers, some of them for organizing protests against his death sentence, Iranian media reported.
(Sources: Afp, 10/03/2018)
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March 9, 2018: Rajasthan approved a bill providing for the death penalty to those convicted of raping girls under 12 years of age. Madhya Pradesh has already cleared a bill with similar provisions in December last year while Haryana Cabinet this February gave its nod to a proposal to bring in such a legislation. Maharashtra and Karnataka are also considering the death penalty for child rapists.
State Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria introduced The Criminal Laws (Rajasthan Amendment) Bill, 2018 on March 9 in the assembly, which was passed in the House by a voice vote following a debate. The bill seeks to add section 376-AA in the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which will be defined as: “Punishment for rape on a woman up to twelve years of age. Whoever commits rape on a woman up to twelve years of age shall be punished with death, or rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years but which may extend to imprisonment for life which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.”
Two amendments were made in the bill including that the convict cannot leave the prison for life even after completing 14 years of sentence.
“We have made two amendments in the case. Added life sentence & life imprisonment for convicts in offenses against girls below 12 years of age, also made a provision that convict can’t leave the prison for life even after completing 14 years of sentence,” said Rajasthan Home Minister GC Kataria
A similar provision, 376-DD, will be added for gangrape. In the ‘Statement of Objects and Reasons’ for bringing in the Bill, the government said, “It has come to the notice of the State Government that the offence relating to child rape and child gang-rape are taking place every now and then. Such crimes are heinous and turn the life of the victim into hell.”
Earlier in February, Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje, in a reply to the Budget debate in the Assembly, had announced that the state government will bring in more stringent punishment, “including capital punishment”, for rape of girls under 12 years.
According to the National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) 2016 report, the cases of crimes against children have shown a steady rise in Rajasthan. The state recorded 4,034 such cases in 2016, which is 3.8 per cent of the crimes against children (98,344) registered across the country. It stands fourth in the crime against women category.
In 2015, the state had registered 3,689 cases of crime against children, which increased by 345 in the year under review. As per the NCRB data, state police registered 728 cases of child rape in 2015, which increased to 858 in 2016.
(Sources:, 09/03/2018)
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