Raghunandan Yandamuri, the first death-row Indian-American prisoner in the US, will be executed on February 23. The execution date of Raghunandan Yandamuri, who is convicted of killing a baby and her Indian grandmother, has been set for February 23 by local correctional authorities. Yandamuri is the first Indian-American to face the death penalty. The 32-year-old Raghunandan Yandamuri was given death penalty in 2014 for kidnapping and killing a 61-year-old elderly Indian Satyavathi Venna and her 10-month-old grand-daughter Saanvi Venna. The murders were seen as part of a botched kidnapping-for-ransom plot.
A native of Andhra Pradesh, Yandamuri had come to the US on an H-1B visa. He holds an advanced degree in electrical and computer science engineering. Following his conviction, he asked that death penalty be imposed upon him. Later he appealed his sentence but lost his appeal last April. “The moratorium law provides that when the Governor does not sign a warrant of execution within the specified time period, the secretary of corrections has 30 days to issue a notice of execution,” Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said in a news release.
The state officials are awaiting the results of a study conducted by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment, before moving forward with any executions. “The law provides that when the governor does not sign a warrant of execution within the specified time period, the secretary of corrections has 30 days within which to issue a notice of execution,” Pennsylvania Department of Corrections said in a news release.
Notably, Pennsylvania has not seen any executions in the last nearly 20 years. Since 1976, three persons have been executed in the States between 1995 and 1999.