Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

How to kill: America's death penalty dilemma

With supplies of lethal injection drugs running low and new sources increasingly difficult to come by, states are grappling with alternatives. Virginia is the latest.

Its solution: Bring back the electric chair.

The bill has passed the state House and Senate, and now awaits the governor's signature.

Here is how the United States got to this point:

Opposition to the death penalty is rising ...

In 1994, Gallup found that 80% of Americans supported the death penalty. Fast-forward to today: A poll last October showed the support had fallen to 61%.

... and more states are putting executions on hold

Those are in addition to the 19 states and the District of Columbia, which have outlawed capital punishment. Since 2009 alone, Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Nebraska and New Mexico have abolished the death penalty.

But capital punishment isn't on its way out

Not by a long shot. In just the last 6 years, 17 states have executed 242 inmates. That's as of March 24. 3 states account for more than 1/2 of those: Texas, Florida and Oklahoma.

The most common method? Lethal injection

Lethal injection is the primary means of execution in all 31 death penalty states. In 1982, Texas became the 1st state to execute an offender via lethal injection. Since then, the United States has carried out 1,425 executions, and only 171 have relied on another method.

But the drugs are drying up ...

Lethal injection initially required a 3-drug cocktail: The 1st (sodium thiopental or pentobarbital) puts the prisoner to sleep, the 2nd (pancuronium bromide) brings on paralysis, and the final agent (potassium chloride) stops the heart.

In 2010, European drug manufacturers began to ban exports of the cocktail ingredients to the United States. The following year, concerned about the use of sodium thiopental in executions, Illinois-based Hospira stopped making the drug, and Denmark-based Lundbeck banned U.S. prisons from using its pentobarbital. The United Kingdom also introduced a ban on exporting sodium thiopental, and the European Union took an official stance in 2012 with its Regulation on Products used for Capital Punishment and Torture.

... forcing states to scramble for new cocktails

Death penalty states began looking for alternatives. Among them: procuring the drugs from alternative sources, devising a 1-drug method, employing other drugs such as midazolam or propofol, and using controversial compounding pharmacies to manufacture the drugs.

This has spurred a cascade of lawsuits

Such lawsuits saw a significant uptick in 2014. That's the same year numerous executions, all employing midazolam, were widely considered botched. In Ohio, Dennis McGuire gasped and convulsed for 10 minutes before dying. In Arizona, Joseph Wood snorted and gulped for air as he died over a period of 2 hours. And in Oklahoma, Clayton Lockett writhed for 43 minutes before succumbing to a heart attack.

After each of those cases, states issued holds on capital punishment while the processes were reviewed. Attorneys for death row inmates in several states have also used these botched efforts to challenge the constitutionality of their clients' executions.

Now, states are looking at alternatives ...

In 2014, Tennessee said that when lethal injection drugs can't be found, the state can use the electric chair. The next year, Utah successfully passed legislation to reintroduce firing squads.

14 other states have a secondary means -- Oklahoma actually has 3 -- but in those states, inmates must opt for them.

... which brings us back to Virginia

Virginia used electrocution exclusively until 1995, when the state began permitting death row inmates to choose between the chair and lethal injection. Since then, 7 condemned men have opted to die by electrocution.

But those were the exceptions. The majority of Virginia's 87 executions since 1995 -- as in the rest of the country -- were carried out via lethal injection.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe hasn't said whether he will sign the bill, and as of Wednesday, 3 members of his communications staff hadn't responded to CNN inquiries about whether he would.

But, with drugs becoming increasingly harder to come by, more states will have to tackle this challenge soon.

Source: CNN, March 24, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 30 Days)

Texas: Reginald Blanton executed

Thomas Whitaker 'given new life' after death penalty commuted, his dad says

After a Massacre, a Question of One More Death: The Gunman’s

Ohio: Death row inmate Alva Campbell has died

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Botswana: Joseph Poni Tselayarona executed

Florida executes Eric Branch

Alabama has set executions for 2 men, including one who asked for it

Singapore: Drug trafficker from Ghana hanged after clemency plea rejected

Alabama executes Michael Eggers