Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

Malaysia to Repeal Death Penalty and Sedition Law

The case of Muhammad Lukman Mohamad ignited outrage in August, when he received a death sentence in Malaysia for selling medicinal cannabis oil to cancer patients.
Even the country's new prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, called for a review of the sentence the 29-year-old father received.
Now, Mr. Mahathir's government is going 1 step further, eliminating the death penalty entirely.
"All death penalty will be abolished. Full stop," the country's minister of law, Liew Vui Keong, told reporters this week.
The government is also preparing to rescind the colonial-era Sedition Act, which was used by previous governments to silence critics and opposition politicians. Gobind Singh, the communications and multimedia minister, said on Thursday that use of the law should be suspended immediately, pending its repeal.
"The decision was made by the cabinet yesterday that since we are going to abolish the Sedition Act, action under that act should be suspended temporaril…

Indonesia: Busting the myths of the death penalty

October 10 is World Day against Death Penalty. Indonesia is one of the few remaining countries that still implements capital punishment. 
Despite many rejections from various circles, the Indonesian government still believes the death penalty serves as an effective deterrent against crime.
In a book, Politik Hukuman Mati di Indonesia (The Politics of Capital Punishment in Indonesia), I wrote that research on the deterrent effect of the death penalty has yet to be conducted in Indonesia. 
Apart from the lack of empirical data, other arguments and studies around the world have shown the deterrent effect of capital punishment is a myth.
The rationale of capital punishment
Within penology, a branch of criminology that studies criminal sanctions, the idea that the death penalty has a deterrent effect rose with the influence of classic utilitarianism in the 18th century within the Western legal system.
Classic utilitarianism is a theoretical approach to ethics that was introduced by the ph…

Tennessee: Zagorski Execution Explained: If, When And How He Could Be Executed

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Edmund Zagorski was convicted of shooting two men then slitting their throats after setting up a fake drug deal. His execution was scheduled for Thurs., Oct. 11, but several legal battles have kept the courts from deciding if, when or even how he will die.
IF: Will He Be Executed?
There's a chance Zagorski may not be executed, but that ruling would have to come from the U.S. Supreme Court on one of two issues: Zagorski's lawyers claims that he had ineffective counsel during his original trial or their claim that the three-drug cocktail being used by the state is cruel and unusual punishment.
Of course, the Supreme Court could also rule that the execution could continue. If that's the case, that brings us to our next question: 
Governor Haslam granted Zagorski a temporary reprieve until Oct. 21, which is earliest the execution could take place. The Tennessee Department of Corrections will set a new date for the execution.
That doesn't necessari…

Washington justices toss death penalty as arbitrary, unfair

The ruling makes Washington the latest state to do away with capital punishment. The court was unanimous in its order that the eight people presently on death row have their sentences converted to life in prison.
OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — Washington’s Supreme Court struck down the state’s death penalty Thursday, ruling that it had been used in an arbitrary and racially discriminatory manner.
Washington has had a moratorium on executions since 2014, but the ruling makes it the 20th state to do away with capital punishment.
The court unanimously converted the sentences of the eight people on death row to life in prison, though the justices differed mildly in their reasoning.
“The use of the death penalty is unequally applied — sometimes by where the crime took place, or the county of residence, or the available budgetary resources at any given point in time, or the race of the defendant,” Chief Justice Mary Fairhurst wrote in the lead opinion.
She added: “Our capital punishment law lacks ‘f…

16th World Day Against the Death Penalty: France reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty everywhere and in all circumstances

10 October 2018 - On this 16th World Day Against the Death Penalty, France reaffirms its opposition to the death penalty everywhere and in all circumstances.
France is committed to the universal abolition of this unjust, inhumane and ineffective punishment and calls on all nations that still apply the death penalty to establish a moratorium on it with a view to its definitive abolition.
France welcomes the decision by Mongolia, Guinea and Burkina Faso to abolish the death penalty. 
It also welcomes Gambia’s ratification of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights aimed at abolishing the death penalty, as well as Guatemala’s abolition of capital punishment for ordinary crimes.
France reiterates its concern over the continued use of the death penalty in all too many countries.
France invites all nations to mobilize ahead of the Seventh World Congress Against the Death Penalty to be held from February 27 to March 1, 2019, in Brussels. 
It …

7 in 10 South Koreans oppose death penalty

The majority of South Koreans agree that the death penalty should be abolished and replaced with alternative forms of punishment, the state-run human rights body announced Wednesday.
According to data from the National Human Rights Commission of Korea, 7 out of 10 Koreans are against retaining capital punishment on the condition that serious punitive measures are put in place to deter crime.
The commission released the data at a conference held to mark World Day Against the Death Penalty.
The survey showed that few Koreans were willing to do away with capital punishment immediately. 
Only 4.4 % of respondents favored its immediate abolition, whereas 15.9 % agreed that it should be abolished at some point in the future.
However, the number rose steeply, to 66.9 %, when the question was rephrased to ask respondents if the death penalty should be replaced with other punitive measures.
Alternatives that respondents favored adopting in place of capital punishment included "absolute l…

On World Day against Death Penalty, PCHR reiterates its call for Abolishing The Penalty in Palestinian Law

Today, 10 October, coincides the World Day against Death Penalty when calls are annually renewed by the countries of the world to work on abolishing this penalty from its legislation, considering it as an inhuman penalty that is incompatible with the values of justice and goals of punishments that aim at rehabilitating the offenders and not wiping them off.
On this occasion, the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), reiterates its call for abolishing this penalty from the Palestinian legislation. PCHR more than once has called upon the President to issue a law by decree to suspend the death penalty until the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) convenes to amend the Penal Code in order to abolish death penalty.
In June 2018, State of Palestine acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), aiming at the abolition of the death penalty. Thus, Palestine now has an international obligation to abolish this penalty, and c…