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OKLAHOMA OPTS FOR EXECUTION AMID CONTROVERSY AND CHOW OPTS FOR EXILE, SHUNNING RETURN TO CHINA

November 30-December 6, 2023 | Issue 43 - Weapons/Tactics

Nicholas Novak, Martina Scalverano, Mateo Maya, Agathe Labadi

Alya Fathia Fitri, Editor; Evan Beachler, Senior Editor


Oklahoma[1]


Date: November 30, 2023

Location: Oklahoma, USA

Parties involved: State of Oklahoma; death row inmates; American citizens; The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR)

The event: The State of Oklahoma executed a man accused of killing two men in 2001 despite his self-defense claims. He became the 24th death row inmate executed this year in the US, as opposed to 18 in 2022 and 11 in 2021.[2] Capital punishment in the US is on the rise as public opinion withers. Over half of these executions took place in Texas and Florida. A Gallup Poll stated that 47% of Americans believe the administration of the death penalty is unfair, as 79% of inmates executed in 2023 had consequential vulnerabilities such as mental illness.[3]

Analysis & Implications:

  • Politicians who support life sentences over the death penalty will likely gain more votes from people affected by mental illness. Mental health advocates will very likely spread capital punishment statistics on social media to gather citizens to protest against elected government officials supporting the death penalty. Increased protests against the death penalty will almost certainly divide groups and cause tension during the 2024 presidential elections, with a roughly even chance of turning violent.  

  • Future self-defense cases resulting in fatal victims will likely undergo state representatives' involvement in the legal process. State representatives will likely back a self-defense trial investigation restructuration in the states that have a functioning death penalty law. Law enforcement and criminal attorneys will likely face division in self-defense cases, which will very likely influence arrest procedures. Ethnic and religious factors will likely affect the outcome of self-defense cases, with a roughly even chance of worsening the public opinion split in the states that have an active death penalty law.

  • Crimes will very likely continue regardless of the death penalty being in place, likely drawing the attention of international human rights organizations. These organizations will likely pressure the US to follow the ICCPR permits only to execute inmates for the most serious offenses. State representatives are unlikely to detract or ease their state law over the death penalty despite the public and human rights organizations' pressure.


Date: December 4, 2023

Location: Toronto, Canada

Parties involved: Canada; Canadian government; Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS); Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP); China; Chinese government; Hong Kong Police Force (HKPF); Pro-democracy Hong Kong activist Agnes Chow

The event: Chow announced she would not return to Hong Kong to meet her bail conditions. After her arrest in 2020 under a Chinese national security law in response to the 2019 anti-government protests, Agnes Chow moved to Toronto, Canada, to pursue her studies. On Monday, the Hong Kong Police Force urged all political exiles to return to China or become fugitives for the rest of their lives.[4] 

Analysis & Implications:

  • The Canadian government will very likely continue supporting Chinese political exiles. The Canadian government will very likely accept other pro-democracy Chinese figures, likely supporting others to leave China as they advocate against the current Chinese political system. The Chinese government will likely respond by restricting pro-democracy figures from leaving the country with arbitrary arrests and travel restrictions for citizens with an activist background. There is a roughly even chance that China will pressure Canada by misusing Interpol and enacting a “red notice” to request the RCMP to detain exiles.

  • China will very likely continue undercover operations, intimidations, and assassinations against exiles from Hong Kong and their families. The Chinese government will likely intimidate or influence exiles’ relatives to convince fugitives to turn themselves in. Chinese authorities will very likely monitor the activity of its citizens visiting Canada and other Western countries, very likely looking for opportunities to arrest them or pretexts to repatriate them.


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[1] Oklahoma, USA by Google Maps

[2] Oklahoma executes man who claimed self-defense in a 2001 double killing, AP News, November 2023, https://apnews.com/article/oklahoma-execution-phillip-hancock-d3a311a1bc29cf5487f6587efda25a65

[3] Executions are on the rise in the U.S., even as public support wanes, NPR, December 2023, https://www.npr.org/2023/12/01/1215757307/executions-death-penalty-report-increase

[4] “Democracy activist Agnes Chow, now in Canada, won't return to face trial in Hong Kong”, CBC, December 2023, https://www.cbc.ca/news/world/agnes-chow-hong-kong-canada-toronto-1.7048087 

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