Indian on death row in US may survive because of moratorium | world news | Hindustan Times
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Indian on death row in US may survive because of moratorium

Raghunandan Yandamuri, who was in the US on an H1-B visa, was convicted of the first-degree murders of a 10-month-old baby and its grandmother.

world Updated: Jan 11, 2018 22:15 IST
HT Correspondent
Raghunandan Yandamuri is scheduled to be executed on February 23.
Raghunandan Yandamuri is scheduled to be executed on February 23.(Representative Photo)

Raghunandan Yandamuri, an Indian national who was on death row in a US prison and was to be executed in February, may get a reprieve because of a moratorium on death penalties in force in Pennsylvania state.

Yandamauri, who was in the US on an H-1B visa, had piled up gambling debts. In 2012, he kidnapped a 10-month-old child, killing the toddler’s grandmother in the process. After initially denying any involvement in the crime and even handing out missing notices during the search for the baby, he eventually confessed to the crime.

He told police investigators he had gagged the baby to stop her from crying and had left her in a suitcase. The child was found dead three days later.

A Pennsylvania court convicted him of first-degree murder in 2014 and sentenced him to death, making him possibly the first Indian sentenced to death in the United States. On Monday, the Pennsylvania department of corrections signed a “Notice of Execution” slated for February 23.

But The Times Herald, a local news publication, has reported that there is a moratorium on death penalties in the state instituted by governor Tom Wolfe in 2015, as officials await the result a study conducted by the Pennsylvania Task Force and Advisory Committee on Capital Punishment, a legislative commission.

The state has not executed anyone since 1999, the report said.