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TEXAS (USA): GILMAR GUEVARA SPARED EXECUTION BECAUSE HE IS INTELLECTUALLY DISABLED

April 28, 2020:

Texas prosecutors on 14 April 2020 asked that a Salvadoran man who has been on death row for nearly 19 years be spared lethal injection because he is intellectually disabled. The request by prosecutors in Houston in the case of Gilmar Guevara follows a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that changed the way Texas determines if a defendant is intellectually disabled and thus ineligible for execution. Guevara, 50, was convicted and sentenced to death for the June 2000 fatal shootings of 48-year-old Tae Youk, from South Korea, and 21-year-old Gerardo Yaxon, from Guatemala, during the attempted robbery of a convenience store.
“In this case, medical experts on both sides agreed the evidence shows Guevara is intellectually disabled,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said on 14 April.
“As medical science and criminal justice increasingly intersect, it’s changing the law of the land and how and when prosecutors use the death penalty.” The re-evaluation of Guevara’s case comes after the Supreme Court last year ruled another Texas death row inmate, Bobby James Moore, is intellectually disabled and can’t be executed. The Supreme Court in 2002 barred execution of mentally disabled people but has given states some discretion to decide how to determine intellectual disability. Texas looks at 3 main points to define intellectual disability: IQ scores, with 70 generally considered a threshold; an inmate’s ability to interact with others and care for himself or herself; and whether evidence of deficiencies in either of those areas occurred before age 18. In 2004, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals created additional factors, including whether an individual’s conduct showed leadership and whether a person could “hide facts or lie effectively.” With Moore’s case, the Supreme Court said these additional factors have no grounding in prevailing medical practice. Guevara’s appellate attorneys have long argued jurors never heard about factors that led to their client’s intellectual disability, including being exposed to toxic chemicals in utero and enduring poverty, violence and malnutrition as a child.

(Source: Associated Press, 15/04/2020)

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INDONESIA: BINTAN DISTRICT COURT HANDS DEATH SENTENCE TO THREE DRUG SMUGGLERS
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USA: DOCTORS ASK DEATH PENALTY STATES TO GIVE UP EXECUTION DRUGS FOR COVID-19 PATIENTS
SAUDI ARABIA ENDS EXECUTIONS FOR CRIMES COMMITTED BY MINORS
THE BAHAMAS: PRIVY COUNCIL OVERTURNS MURDER CONVICTION OF UNREPRESENTED MAN WHO FACED THE DEATH PENALTY
IRAN: 10 PRISONERS QUICKLY HANGED BEFORE RAMADAN
INDIA: DEATH SENTENCE FOR KIDNAPPING, MURDER OF MINOR COMMUTED
SAUDI ARABIA ABOLISHES FLOGGING AS PUNISHMENT
IRAN: POSSIBLE JUVENILE OFFENDER HANGED FOR MURDER
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SINGAPORE: MAN ESCAPES GALLOWS AFTER BEING CLEARED OF DRUG TRAFFICKING CHARGE BY COURT OF APPEAL
JUSTICE: HANDS OFF CAIN, RIGHT TO HEALTH IS VALID FOR ALL EVEN 41 BIS
AMNESTY: SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTED RECORD NUMBER OF PEOPLE IN 2019 AMID DECLINE IN GLOBAL EXECUTIONS
IRAN: JUVENILE OFFENDER SHAYAN SAEEDPOUR EXECUTED
MOROCCO: HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT RECOMMENDS ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
TAIWAN: COALITION PETITIONS PRESIDENT TO PARDON DEATH ROW INMATE TORTURED INTO CONFESSION
PAKISTAN: SINDH HIGH COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE OF FORMER MITHI JUDGE
IRAN: MAN HANGED AT HAMADAN PRISON FOR MURDER CHARGES
PRISON. APPEAL OF 54 PERSONALITIES FROM 14 COUNTRIES TO THE EU FOR AN AMNESTY FACING COVID-19
MYANMAR: MORE THAN 24,000 PRISONERS PARDONED IN AMNESTY
INDONESIA: TWO DRUG COURIERS IN SOUTH SUMATRA SENTENCED TO DEATH
CAMEROON: PRESIDENT ORDERS DE-CROWDING OF PRISONS TO COMBAT COVID-19
PRISON: CONVOCATION OF THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF HANDS OFF CAIN-SPES CONTRA SPEM

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