FEATURED POST

In the crosshairs of conscience: John Kitzhaber's death penalty reckoning

Image
To cope with his dread, John Kitzhaber opened his leather-bound journal and began to write.
It was a little past 9 on the morning of Nov. 22, 2011. Gary Haugen had dropped his appeals. A Marion County judge had signed the murderer's death warrant, leaving Kitzhaber, a former emergency room doctor, to decide Haugen's fate. The 49-year-old would soon die by lethal injection if the governor didn't intervene.
Kitzhaber was exhausted, having been unable to sleep the night before, but he needed to call the families of Haugen's victims.
"I know my decision will delay the closure they need and deserve," he wrote.
The son of University of Oregon English professors, Kitzhaber began writing each day in his journal in the early 1970s. The practice helped him organize his thoughts and, on that particular morning, gather his courage.
Kitzhaber first dialed the widow of David Polin, an inmate Haugen beat and stabbed to death in 2003 while already serving a life sentence fo…

5 prisoners in Iran await to be judicially blinded, made deaf with acid

Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric and nightmarish punishments
Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric and nightmarish punishments
NCRI - At least five prisoners in Iran’s notorious Gohardasht (Rajai-Shahr) Prison in Karaj are awaiting sentences which would see them be blinded or made deaf with acid under the Iranian regime’s fundamentalist law of retribution (qisas).

According to reports from inside the prison, some 40 kilometers from the Iranian capital Tehran, the Iranian regime’s judiciary is pushing for the sentences to be implemented quickly; however prison doctors have thus far refused to carry out the draconian procedures.

Mojtaba Saheli (Yasaveli), 31, who was previously blinded in his left eye by the regime, was recently informed by prison officials that he is to be blinded in the right eye with acid.

On March 3, 2015 he was blinded in one eye with acid in Gohardasht Prison in the presence of the regime’s deputy prosecutor in Tehran Mohammad Shahriari and prison officials after the draconian sentence was upheld by the regime’s Supreme Court.

On August 3, 2009 he allegedly blinded a driver in Qom, south of Tehran, with acid. The regime’s court in Qom sentenced Mr. Saheli to be blinded in both eyes with acid, pay blood money and serve a 10-year prison term as part of the regime’s inhumane law of retribution.

Mr. Saheli is currently imprisoned in Ward 2 of Hall 4 of Gohardasht Prison. He had been told to pay blood money to avoid the new blinding sentence from being implemented on his right eye.

According to one report, Mr. Saheli recently enquired from the prison’s office of implementations about his sentence and was informed that the implementation order for his sentence had been received, but until now no physician had been willing to break their doctor’s oath to carry out the sentence.

He was furthermore informed that the regime’s judiciary is pressing for the sentence to be carried out and that at any moment one of the doctors may decide to set aside their oath and carry out the blinding sentence.

Five prisoners are currently awaiting to be administered acid on to their eyes and ears. They are:

  • Mojtaba Saheli (Yasaveli), 31, whose left eye has already been blinded, and who is awaiting implementation of a sentence to be blinded in the right eye.
  • Fatollah Khojasteh, sentenced to be blinded in one eye and made deaf in one ear with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in both eyes with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in one eye and made deaf in one ear with acid.
  • An unnamed prisoner, sentenced to be blinded in one eye with acid.

Dr. Sanabargh Zahedi, chairman of the Judicial Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), earlier this month said: “The inhumane law of retribution (qisas) has been implemented against the Iranian people for the past 37 years. These punishments date back to the medieval ages and show the clerical regime’s reactionary nature. These inhuman punishments are clear violations of all principles and norms of a modern judiciary, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and all civil and political covenants. Such punishments undoubtedly constitute a savage form of torture and should be condemned by any freedom-seeking person. The Iranian Resistance and NCRI members have since 1980 condemned the regime’s qisas law as anti-human.”

“According to the logic of the Quran and modern democratic Islam the first principle which applies to the penal code is dynamism. Thus the Islamic penal provision should be interpreted within the context of social and economic conditions and scientific progress. The clerical regime is centuries away from this logic, and as such it is clear that there is no possibility of reform within this regime,” he added.

Amnesty International in a statement on March 5, 2015 condemned the Iranian regime for blinding Mr. Saheli in his left eye two days earlier.

“Punishing someone by deliberately blinding them is an unspeakably cruel and shocking act," said Raha Bahreini, Amnesty International's Iran Researcher.

"This punishment exposes the utter brutality of Iran’s justice system and underlines the Iranian authorities' shocking disregard for basic humanity. Meting out cruel and inhuman retribution punishments is not justice. Blinding, like stoning, amputation and flogging, is a form of corporal punishment prohibited by international law. Such punishments should not be carried out under any circumstances.”

Source: NCRI, May 28, 2016

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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

New Hampshire: More than 50,000 anti-death penalty signatures delivered to Sununu

Texas: The accused Santa Fe shooter will never get the death penalty. Here’s why.

Malaysian court sentences Australian grandmother to death by hanging

Post Mortem – the execution of Edward Earl Johnson

Convicted killer from infamous “Texas 7” prison escape gets execution date

Ohio: Lawyers seek review of death sentence for 23-year-old Clayton man

Texas man on death row for decapitating 3 kids loses appeal

Amnesty International Once Again Highlights Shocking Justice System in Iran

Maria Exposto: Can she avoid execution?

Ohio man with execution set for July 18 blames killing on ‘homosexual panic’