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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…

Eight Prisoners Including Woman Executed in Northern Iran

Bystanders watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
Bystanders watching a public execution in Iran (file photo)
Three prisoners were reportedly hanged in the city of Nazarabad on drug charges. 

Four men and one woman were reportedly hanged at Tabriz Central Prison on murder and drug charges.

Iran Human Rights (JAN 7 2016): On Wednesday January 6, the Judiciary in the Iranian province of Alborz reported on the execution of three unidentified prisoners in the city of Nazarabad.

According to Mohammad Gheyomi, Nazarabad's Public Prosecutor, the prisoners were on death row on drug charges. The report does not mention the names of the prisoners, the date they were executed, or whether they were hanged in prison or in public.

On the same day, the Kurdistan Human Rights Network reported on the execution of four men and one woman at Tabriz Central Prison for murder and drug charges: a prisoner by the name of Mehdi Nasirtian was reportedly hanged on Tuesday January 5, and on Wednesday January 6, three unidentified men and one woman were hanged. 

The prisoners have been identified as: Tofigh Mohammadfar, Hossein Zadegan Eskandar, Amir Ali Zadegan Eskandar (Hossein's brother-in-law), and Zahra Nemati (Amir Ali's wife).

None of the executions on Tuesday and Wednesday at Tabriz Central Prison were reported by Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 7, 2015

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