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“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

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The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

Three men hanged in Isfahan, Iran

Iran Human Rights, December 20: Three men were hanged in the prison of Isfahan (central Iran) according to the official site of Isfahan’s judiciary this morning.

According to the report the three men were identified as "Ghodrat Gh." (55) convicted of trafficking of 141,5 kg. of opium, Khan Mohammad Daraei (age not mentioned) for keeping 120 g. of Crack and 2 g. of marijuana, selling 15 g. of heroin, and drug addiction, and "Mostafa Ch." convicted of keeping 135,4 g. of heroin, 35,6 g. of opium and addiction to opium.

Iran Human Rights underlines that the charges are only according to the Iranian authorities and have not been confirmed by independent sources.

Condemning today’s executions, Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights said: "We are concerned about possible executions in the Christmas holidays. Iranian authorities often choose major holidays for mass executions in order to avoid international attention. Last year 10 people were hanged on Christmas Eve and 2 people were stoned to death on December 26." He added: " The situation of the human rights in Iran has not been as bad as today since the end of 1980’s."

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 20, 2009

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