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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Young Prisoner Hanged in Public in Northern Iran

Public execution in Iran (file photo)
Public execution in Iran (file photo)
On Monday December 14, a young prisoner was hanged in public in Noshahr (a city in the province of Mazandaran) on murder charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner's name is Milad Khodavardi and he was arrested in 2012 for allegedly murdering a woman by the name of Mehri Mallamiri. 

A source who has asked to be annonymous claims that Khodavardi was under the age of 18 at the time of the murder.

Iranian state run media, IRNA, quoting Ali Akbar Alizadeh, the Public Prosecutor of Noshahr, has confirmed the execution. 

According to IRNA, Khodavardi was 20 years old when Iranian authorities executed him.

Iran is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of a Child, which states that the death penalty shall not be issued to individuals under the age of 18 at the time of their crime. 

Khodavardi's death sentence was reportedly confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court before the execution was carried out.

IHR was able to obtain a photo of Khodavardi after he was hanged to death.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 14, 2015

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