Harrowing Realities Of Iran’s Torture Chambers

Four decades of the clerical regime’s rule in Iran has left thousands of victims through widespread practice of torture and ill-treatment with impunity.
Torture has been institutionalized in the regime’s punishment laws and is sanctioned by the Judiciary as well as the regime officials.
Hadi Sadeghi, Deputy Chancellor of the Judiciary was quoted by the state-run ISNA news agency on May 30, 2018, as saying, “There is no precepts of imprisonment in Islam, so we need to seek alternative punishments. Physical punishment is much more effective than imprisonment, and the punishment of flogging is much more effective in Islam. But, the human rights agencies do not have a good idea on this matter.”
The state-run Fars news agency cited Judiciary spokesperson Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Eje’i, on January 17, 2018 as stressing on cross amputation for offenders where their opposite hand and foot are amputated.
“Other punishments we have in mind for those who create insecurity in the society include ex…

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

TRANSCRIPT, July 14, 20188:22 AM ET, Heard on Weekend Edition Saturday
NPR's Renee Montagne speaks with Robert Dunham of the Death Penalty Information Center about Nevada's attempt to use fentanyl for an execution.


States around the country have been struggling to acquire drugs for lethal injections. As the state's supplies have run out, many pharmaceutical companies have balked at having their products used for executions. The state of Nevada this week was forced to postpone the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. That's because the manufacture of midazolam, one of the drugs in the lethal cocktail, sued the state and a judge disallowed its use. What stands out about this postponed execution is that Nevada had hoped to become the first state to use the opioid fentanyl in a lethal injection. Robert Dunham is with the Death Penalty Information Center, which takes on the issue of how the death penalty is administered. Thank you for joining u…

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Two Indonesian gay men were caned in public last week despite the government’s pledge that such barbaric punishment would not be continued. 
The men were whipped 80 times each with a rattan cane as onlookers hurled abuse and insults.
15 people were caned outside of a mosque in the country’s conservative Aceh province for offenses like drinking or selling alcohol and showing affection in public. It is the only region in Indonesia that imposes Islamic sharia law.
The unidentified couple were pulled out of a beauty salon earlier this year by a vigilante mob who accused them of having sex. 
The country has been cracking down on gay men and flogging or humiliating them with the government’s permission.
Police in Jakarta arrested over 140 men at a sauna popular with gay men in May 2017 and another 51 men in a raid of a different sauna in October. 
Police said the men were detained on suspicion of violating Indonesia’s pornography law.
In May 2017, two gay men were publicly caned after vigil…

Japan: Court orders retrial of deceased man convicted in 1984 murder over forced confession

OTSU, Shiga -- A court has ordered a retrial for a deceased man who was convicted of murdering a 69-year-old woman in 1984 in western Japan, endorsing new evidence and suspecting that he was forced into confession after being beaten by police officers.
The decision by the Otsu District Court in Shiga Prefecture on Wednesday quashed the Osaka High Court's ruling in 2011 that dismissed Hiromu Sakahara's plea for a retrial. Sakahara died the same year, and in 2012, his family filed a second retrial petition with the district court.
It is believed to the first time a Japanese court has ordered a retrial sought by the family of a deceased convict.
Sakahara was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison on charges he killed Hatsu Ikemoto, a liquor store manager in Hino, Shiga, and seized her cash box.
After being arrested and indicted in 1988, Sakahara argued that his original confession during the investigation was made under coercion. The focal point of the trial was the method…

Arkansas teenager charged in infant's death; he tried to revive daughter by shocking her with extension cord, police say

A 19-year-old man is scheduled to go before a Crawford County circuit judge today, charged with smothering his infant daughter then trying to revive her by shocking her with a live extension cord.
Tyler Buchanan was charged Monday with capital murder in the June 12 death of his 2-month-old baby whom he was trying to stop from screaming so he could sleep, according to court documents.
If convicted of capital murder, Buchanan could face the death penalty or life in prison.
Buchanan remained in the Crawford County jail Tuesday in lieu of $1 million bond. Court records show a public defender was appointed to represent him.
Court records show Buchanan also was charged in December with possession of drug paraphernalia, six counts of theft of property by credit or debit card, breaking or entering and theft of property.
Police were called to 1112 Baldwin St. in Van Buren on the morning of June 12 about a report of an unconscious baby. 
Medical personnel transported the child to Sparks Hospit…

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

With the execution of Aum Shinrikyo leader and six of his followers, Japan looks to leave behind an era of tragedy. 
On July 6, 2018, Japanese authorities executed seven members of the religious movement Aum Shinrikyo (Aum true religion, or supreme truth), which carried out the 1995 Tokyo subway sarin attack and a series of other atrocities. None of the seven of the executed men were directly involved in releasing the gas on that tragic day; four of those who did remain under a death sentence, and their executions may be imminent.
The seven executed were involved in planning and organizing the various crimes committed by Aum. Asahara Shoko (born Matsumoto Chizuo), was the founder and leader of the movement, having developed the doctrinal system instrumental to Aum’s violence and its concept of a final cosmic war of good (Aum) against evil (the corrupt material world and everyone — from the Japanese government to the general public — who lived in it). Asahara is believed to have given …

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Today, July 13, 2018, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, by a vote of xxx, rejected Christopher Anthony Young’s application for clemency. 
Young faces execution by the State of Texas on Tuesday, July 17, 2018.
Earlier this year, the Board unanimously recommended clemency for Thomas Whitaker, a white man convicted of masterminding the murders of his mother and brother.  His father, Kent, was also shot in the ambush but survived and forgave his son, pleading for his life.
Chris Young is African-American.  The son of the man he killed opposes his execution.
Governor Abbott has the authority to grant a one-time, 30-day reprieve.
Statement from David Dow and Jeff Newberry, attorneys for Chris Young:
“We are devastated that the members of the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles failed to recognize what we know to be true: The man the State of Texas seeks to execute – our client, Christopher Anthony Young – is not the same reckless young man who took the life of Hasmukh Patel in San Anto…

Tennessee: Inmate's lawyers look for holes in lethal injection rules during death penalty challenge

Lawyers challenging Tennessee's lethal injection guidelines on Thursday suggested the state's rules surrounding executions were unclear and incomplete, issues they believe could spur the illegal torture of inmates.
On the 4th day of a civil trial brought by 33 Tennessee death row inmates, attorneys for the inmates spent hours questioning Department of Correction leaders about a revised protocol for lethal injections released last week.
While questioning the warden at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution, where the state's only execution chamber is located, federal public defender Jerome Del Pino established that prison staff practiced lethal injections without instructions from the pharmacy slated to provide the three-drug injection cocktail.
The protocol released July 5 requires that the lethal injection components should be "transferred, stored and maintained in accordance with the pharmacy."
"Wouldn't you want to have all the directions that you…

Louisiana seeks 1-year extension in halt to executions

Louisiana authorities are seeking a court order that would rule out any executions in the state for at least one more year.
A lawsuit challenging the state's lethal injection protocols has blocked Louisiana from carrying out any death sentences since 2014. Its last execution was in 2010.
In a court filing Wednesday, an attorney for the state asked for a 12-month extension in the court order temporarily staying all executions.
Jeffrey Cody, the state's lawyer, says litigating the case now would be "a waste of resources and time." He asked U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to postpone a July 17 status conference for the litigation and extend the court-ordered halt in executions for 1 additional year "because the facts and issues involved in this proceeding continue to be in a fluid state."
"It is hoped that, by July 2019, the facts and issues ultimately to be litigated will have become more settled and the parties will then be in a better position to proc…

Sri Lanka: List of drug traffickers with death penalty to be handed to President today; Judicial executioners sought

The Ministry of justice says the list of convicted drug traffickers who were sentenced with capital punishment is ready to be produced before the President, today.
The list has been compiled by the Justice Ministry in accordance with an order issued by the President.
President, yesterday (11), stated that he would sign required orders to execute capital punishment for convicted drug traffickers who carry out large scale drug smuggling operations while in detention.
Reinstating of capital punishment was discussed at length at the Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday (10).
Meanwhile, Department of Prisons said that they will discuss with the ministry on implementing the death penalty, in the coming few days.
Commissioner General of Prisons Nishan Danasinghe says that there are many urgent measures that should be taken in order to implement the death penalty.
As the position of the executioner is currently vacated, the vacancy must be filled immediately, he pointed out.
Prison Department To …