Detained Student Activist Released!
After more than 13 years since Huang Zhiqiang, Fang Chunping, Cheng Fagen and Cheng Lihe were originally sentenced to death, the Jiangxi Provincial Higher People’s Court has announced a not-guilty verdict. All four men were immediately released after a closed-door retrial on 30 November 2016.
On 2 December, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals issued a stay of execution to John Battaglia, a 61-year-old man who was scheduled to be executed in Texas on 7 December. The stay is for the Court to be able to review the question of his mental competence.
On 19 August, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals granted a stay of execution to Jeffery Wood, who was scheduled to be executed in Texas on 24 August. He was sentenced to death in 1998 for a murder committed during a robbery of a convenience store in 1996. He was sitting in a truck outside the store when the murder took place.
Ehsan Shah Ghasemi, a 25-year-old Iranian man who had been on death row since October 2014, was released from prison on 13 March after he was pardoned by the victim’s family in September 2015. He had been sentenced to death in connection with the death of another man, following a stabbing incident.