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

Suit over Arizona Execution procedures dismissed

Arizona Death Chamber
A lawsuit challenging how Arizona conducts executions has been dismissed in the wake of the state changing procedures that drew objections from lawyers for death-row inmates.

The changes include using one execution drug instead of the 3-drug mix that the state has used for nearly 3 decades, and allowing witnesses to watch the execution team insert injection lines into the condemned prisoner.

Lawyers for the state and inmates on Wednesday jointly asked a U.S. District Court judge to dismiss the suit, and he promptly did so.

The suit was filed in February, but it followed years of litigation concerning some of the same concerns that inmates could be subjected to pain and suffering in violation of the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment.

The request to dismiss the latest suit has been in the works for about a month as lawyers for the inmates reviewed changes that the state made to its protocol in September and consulted their clients.

"Because these matters have been addressed and the changes bring more transparency to the execution process, it's time for this litigation to end," said Dale Baich, a federal public defender helping represent death-row inmates who sued.

Kent Cattani, the state's top criminal appeals lawyer, said the state believes its execution protocol was constitutional even before making what he called "minor changes."

"It remains constitutional and this demonstrates the plaintiffs agree with that assessment," the prosecutor said.

Like some other death-penalty states, Arizona this year began using 1 execution drug, and the current protocol specifies that's now the chosen procedure. It says that 1 of 2 sedatives will be used to kill the inmate, unless an inmate and his lawyers are told in advance that a different drug will be used.

Inmate attorneys had criticized the three-drug mix, saying there was a possibility that the sedative would not work properly. They said an inmate could regain consciousness but be paralyzed and unable to communicate while undergoing a painful death when another drug stops his heart.

Arizona this year also began allowing execution witnesses to observe the insertion of injection lines, and that's now included in the protocol.

Witnesses typically include relatives and attorneys of the condemned man, relatives of the victim, journalists and law enforcement officials.

Inmate attorneys had complained that insertions in the groin area could be painful and that insertions into the prisoner's arms should be used instead. The protocol leaves it up to the officials where to make insertions, but specifies that a groin-area insertion be used only if the person that that type of line is licensed or certified to do that procedure.

"When the process was going on behind the curtain, we had no idea what was really happening back there," Baich said.

Other changes included in the current protocol deal with qualifications of the medical personnel participating in the execution and with providing time for inmates to meet with their lawyers during the 24 hours before executions.

Cattani said inmates have been provided time with their lawyers and that practice is now in writing. He said the change on medical personnel set a standard that should avoid further questioning that ends up being hashed out in court.

A federal judge ruled last December in a previous case that the state's procedures in place at the time didn't violate inmates' constitutional rights, but inmates' lawyers complained that previous assurances provided by the state hadn't proven to be reliable.

The state contended that the allegations by inmate attorneys hadn't resulted in any proof that inmates were actually subjected to substantial risks, whether from drugs or procedures used.

Corrections Director Charles Ryan testified in a previous lawsuit that it was enough that the warden was in the injection room and could alert the injection team to any problems, while a sheet draped over a sheet draped over most of the inmate's body blocked it from the view of witnesses in an adjacent room.

Arizona has executed 33 inmates since resuming capital punishment in 1992, all but 1 by injection.

Arizona has executed 5 men so far this year, most recently Daniel W. Cook on Aug. 8 for 2 murders committed in Lake Havasu City.

No executions are currently scheduled, but prosecutors have asked the Arizona Supreme Court to schedule one for Richard Stokley, convicted of 2 murders in Cochise County.

Source: Associated Press, October 25, 2012

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