Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

U.S.: Military has called off 10 executions

WASHINGTON, Aug. 28 (UPI) -- Ten of the 16 U.S. military personnel sentenced to death since 1984 have had their sentences overturned, officials say.

McClatchy Newspapers reported Sunday military appellate courts spared the defendants the death penalty because of mistakes made throughout the military's judicial system.

Most of the former death row inmates have been re-sentenced to life in prison.

McClatchy said critics say in many cases, defendants charged with capital crimes are given young, inexperienced lawyers to represent them.

"If you have a system where it's always amateur hour and where the lawyers are always trying their first capital case, you're going to guarantee the same kinds of mistakes that have resulted in many, many cases being reversed -- because of ineffective assistance of counsel -- for the last 30 years are going to be made over and over again," David Bruck, director of the legal aid organization Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse, said.

"Even worse, you may have cases where the person is not only sentenced to death because of their lawyers' mistakes but because the courts will say that it's close enough for government work."

Military officials have argued they can't provide the top-shelf attorneys most civilian courts require because defense attorneys and prosecutors generally rotate out of their jobs every couple of years.

The Army started a review in January of how it handles capital cases but officials said no specific red flags popped up, McClatchy said.

"Any good criminal justice system worth its salt is constantly looking at how it does business," said Col. Chuck Pede, who oversees criminal law policy for the Army's Office of the Judge Advocate General.

"I don't see any major systemic issues that cry out for action on the part of the armed forces."

Still, the military's 80 percent death sentence-reversal rate contrasts with a 47 percent reversal rate in civilian courts.

Source: United Press International, August 29, 2011

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