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

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"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…

Virginia lethal injection drug same as one in Ohio suit

The Virginia Department of Corrections said Thursday that it has approved the sedative midazolam as an alternative first drug in the state's three-drug execution protocol. Midazolam was one of two drugs used in last month's execution of an Ohio inmate who made snorting and gasping sounds and took an unusually long 26 minutes to die. His family is suing Ohio.

Illinois-based Hospira Inc., which manufactures midazolam, opposes its use for capital punishment but has been unable to stop state prison systems from obtaining it from suppliers.

The development comes as many death penalty states are grappling with a shortage of drugs that can be used in executions. Many of the drugs are manufactured in European countries that have prohibited their export for use in capital punishment.

Virginia lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the state to use the electric chair in executions if lethal injection drugs are not available when an inmate's execution date arrives. Under current law, death row inmates can choose either the electric chair or lethal injection. If they decline to choose, they get the injection.

Source: AP, Feb. 21, 2014

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