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Why Tom Daley saying he’s a proud gay Olympian is ‘necessary’: 10 nations taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics prescribe the death penalty for homosexuals

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An author has expertly explained why Tom Daley saying he’s proud to be gay at the Olympics is necessary, actually. Following Tom Daley’s groundbreaking victory in the men’s synchronised 10m platform dive during the Tokyo Olympics, the Team GB athlete said: “I am proud to say I am a gay man and an Olympic champion.” While many celebrated Daley’s win and his pride in being a part of the LBGT+ community, others were critical and argued that “mentioning his sexuality” wasn’t necessary. One particular troll tweeted: “His sexual preference bears no relation to his skills.” Author of The Complete David Bowie Nicholas Pegg expertly replied to the thread, explaining that it was in fact “necessary” for Daley to mention his sexuality at the Olympics because many countries competing oppose LGBT+ rights. He wrote: “There are 10 nations taking part in this year’s Tokyo Olympics which prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality. “They would literally execute Tom Daley.” The list includes Afghanista

Iran | Three inmates executed in Qazvin

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Iran Human Rights (IHR); July 30, 2021: Esmail Fatehi, Mansour Mohammadi and Mozafar (surname unknown) have been executed on drug-related charges in Qazvin Central Prison.  At least 55 prisoners, including a woman, have been executed on drug-related charges in Iranian prisons in 2021. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, three men were executed on drug-related charges on the morning of July 28 in Qazvin Central Prison.  Their identities have been established as Esmail Fatehi, Mansour Mohammadi and Mozafar (surname unknown). Speaking to IHR, informed sources said: “Esmail Fatehi was arrested and imprisoned five years ago for carrying 300 kilograms of opium. Mansour Mohammadi and Mozafar had been behind bars for around six years.” At the time of writing, none of their executions have not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran. According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charg

The lawyer who saved 1,000 from the noose

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"30 years of visiting death row clients has taught me that these are vulnerable, damaged people, often with severe mental illness — while most have not had fair trials.” Saul Lehrfreund admits that last Friday was unusually rewarding. “When I went to work that morning, Sierra Leone still had the death penalty and there were 80 or 90 prisoners on death row,” he says. “When I left the office that evening, its parliament had voted to abolish it, and death row didn’t exist. All those prisoners, who’ve spent years expecting to be hanged — some will now be judged to have served their time, and released.” Lehrfreund has spent almost three decades fighting to save condemned inmates’ lives around the world. He and his colleagues — including, notably, a certain Keir Starmer QC — have won some highly significant cases, which have seen innocent people walk free and the numbers of death sentences and executions in several Commonwealth countries drastically reduced. But the decision taken by S

Iran | Raisi’s Execution Tactics Exposed

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Ebrahim Raisi will become president of Iran in just over a week, even though (or perhaps, because) his resume is filled with crimes against the Iranian people and humanity.  Shortly after his ascension was announced, Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnès Callamard criticized Raisi’s rise to the second-most powerful position in the country. Callamard wrote: “That Ebrahim Raisi has risen to the presidency instead of being investigated for the crimes against humanity of murder, enforced disappearance, and torture is a grim reminder that impunity reigns supreme in Iran…” Let’s look into that a little more. Executions The Iranian regime is the world leader in executions per capita because the mullahs use the death penalty as a tool for repression, murdering political activists to intimidate the wider public into submission, although it should be noted that this doesn’t just apply to the regime’s enemies. This has increased markedly during Raisi’s stint as Judiciary Chief from 2019 u

Georgia | Seeking death penalty in Fulton County against accused spa shooter could potentially lead to years of court hearings

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Death penalty sentences are rare in the state. There are only 40 prisoners currently on death row in Georgia from cases dating back to 1976. ATLANTA — Robert Aaron Long was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Tuesday for the killings four people at a Cherokee County spa in March. The sentencing came as part of a plea deal. Long's attorneys approached the Cherokee County District Attorney's Office to request that they avoid a trial in the case. Wanting swift justice, the victims' families agreed, according to Shannon Wallace, the D.A. for Cherokee County.   On Wednesday, Long was transferred to the Fulton County jail as he faces charges related to the four people prosecutors accuse him of killing at two spas in Atlanta. Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis said for those murders, she plans to seek the death penalty.  Veteran metro Atlanta prosecutors believe any death penalty case presents several difficulties and will add significant time to the

Death penalty dying, as DAs avoid costly capital cases. But prosecutors still misuse the death penalty to negotiate pleas, costing taxpayers millions.

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With little fuss or fanfare, capital punishment is dying. Surprisingly, hard-boiled local prosecutors around the country, many of them death-penalty supporters, are leading the way. Executions are a luxury their counties and clogged court dockets can no longer afford. Murder rates also have dropped. And at least 185 U.S. prisoners on death-row, including 10 from Pennsylvania, have been exonerated since 1973, making prosecutors increasingly mindful of horrifying and exorbitant errors. Traditionally, prosecutors have touted capital cases to bolster their tough-on-crime credentials. The intense scrutiny now given them reflect the indefensible costs and risks of capital punishment, along with its dubious benefits. Capital punishment does not deter violent crime. In fact, murder rates are higher in death-penalty states. Furthermore, most death-penalty convictions are overturned on appeal for mandatory life sentences. By any measure, the death penalty is simply not worth the costs, especiall

The Georgia Spa Shooter Was Sentenced To Life In Prison But Could Still Face The Death Penalty

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The 22-year-old man fatally shot 8 people in March, six of whom were Asian women. The 22-year-old man who opened fire and killed 8 people in 3 Georgia spas in March pleaded guilty to 4 of the murders on Tuesday. He was sentenced to life in prison without parole over the murders in the city of Acworth, but he could still face the death penalty due to the additional 4 deaths with which he is charged in Atlanta. At the Acworth spa on March 16, Robert Aaron Long fatally shot Xiaojie Tan, 49; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Daoyou Feng, 44; and Paul Andre Michels, 54. He then drove to Atlanta, where he killed Soon Chung Park, 74; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Sun Cha Kim, 69; and Yong Ae Yue, 63. 6 of the 8 victims were Asian women, and the deadly attack occurred amid a wave of anti-Asian violence. The incident also marked the beginning of a spate of mass shootings across the US after a lull during the pandemic. For the Atlanta killings, unlike in Acworth, Long faces domestic terrorism charges, and prosecu

Pennsylvania | Man charged in slaying for which another man exonerated by DNA evidence served 16 years

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Authorities have announced the arrest of a new suspect in a rape and murder more than 3 decades ago for which another man served 16 years in prison before he was exonerated by DNA evidence. State police and Adams County prosecutors said Tuesday that Chris Speelman, 58, of New Oxford is charged with criminal homicide, rape, robbery and burglary in the August 1987 slaying of 85-year-old Edna Laughman. Lt. Mark Magyar said the arrest was made possible by advances in genetic genealogy and the hard work of investigators. District Attorney Brian Sinnett said a company analyzing the DNA profile provided by investigators came up with a list of surnames, including Speelman's, and other information including hair and eye color. Sinnett said Speelman had lived next-door to the victim “within the same structure" about a decade before her murder. A DNA sample provided by him a few months ago was “an absolute match" to the suspect's DNA, he said. Sinnett said investigators believe

Sri Lanka | Opposition leader wants death penalty for terrorists, drug traffickers

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Sri Lanka’s opposition leader Sajith Premadasa wants the death penalty imposed on charges pertaining to terrorism and drug-trafficking, à la Singapore. “Singapore gives the best penalties for terrorism and drug trafficking. We will not deviate from that position, but the judicial process must be transparent, fair and free of influence,” Premadasa said Wednesday (28) morning. He was speaking to reporters outside the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in Colombo where main opposition Samagi Jana Balavegaya (SJB) MP Harin Fernando was being questioned over a speech Fernando had made on the 2019 Easter bombings. Rather than punishing proven terrorists, said Premadasa, the government wants to pay for their upkeep with taxpayer money. “Is this the solution our country has for those proven to have carried out terrorist activities?” he said. Sri Lanka has an ongoing de facto moratorium on capital punishment that goes back 45 years, with the last execution carried out in 1976.

Malaysia | Federal Court affirms death sentence of ex-security guard who shot cashier

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The Federal Court today affirmed the death sentence imposed on a former security guard who discharged a firearm at a Bangladeshi cashier at a petrol kiosk during a robbery 5 years ago. A 3-member bench chaired by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim said the conviction of Fairon Azman Amiron, 37, by the trial judge was safe. “The sentence is affirmed under Section 3 of the Firearms (Increased Penalty) Act 1971,” he said in dismissing the appeal. Also on the bench were Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal. Fairon’s final avenue is to apply for a pardon to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to commute his death penalty to a jail term as the offence was committed in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. He committed the offence on Tarikul Islam Tarak at the Petroniaga Mesra service station at Jalan Genting Klang in Setapak at about 5.40pm on Aug 7, 2016. The High Court found him guilty on Sept 27, 2017 and the Court of Appeal maintained the conviction and sente