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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

8 Hanged in Northern Iran, 2 in Southwestern Iran

Medieval and barbaric punishments: Public hanging in Iran
Medieval and barbaric punishments: Public hanging in Iran
The latest execution reports say Iranian authorities have hanged 5 prisoners at Tabriz Central Prison (East Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran), 2 prisoners at Urmia Central Prison (West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran), and 1 prisoner at Sari Prison (Mazandaran province, northern Iran).

The press department of the Judiciary in Mazandaran reports on the execution of the prisoner at Sari Prison, identified as "S.R.", 31 years old, hanged on murder charges on the morning of Wednesday May 18.

The human rights news agency HRANA and the Kurdistan Human Rights Network report on the execution of 2 prisoners, identified as "Dariush Farajzadeh" and "Ghafour Ghaderzadeh", who were hanged at Urmia Central Prison on Wednesday May 18 on murder charges. 

Another prisoner, identified as Khaled Zika, was reportedly taken to the gallows as well, but his life was spared last minute and he was returned to his cell after receiving consent for a postponement on his execution. There has been an increase in executions carried out at Urmia Central Prison. On Tuesday May 17, 6 prisoners were hanged at this prison on drug charges.

The Kurdistan Human Rights Network reports on the execution of 5 prisoners at Tabriz Central Prison. Three prisoners, identified as "Rahim Khodayari", "Ramin Imani" and "Sohrab Sharbatiyeh", were hanged on murder charges on Tuesday May 17. The next day, 5 prisoners, identified as "Yaghoub Jahed" and "Seyed Jalal Abedi", were hanged on drug related charges.

It is important to note that Iranian authorities have increased the number of executions before the start of the holy month of Ramadan, when they typically do not carry out executions.

2 unidentified prisoners were reportedly hanged at Yasouj Central Prison on rape charges.

According to a state-run news agency, Young Journalists Club, these 2 prisoners were 26 and 34 years old at the time of their execution on Wednesday May 18. Yasouj Prison is located in the Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, southwestern Iran.

Source: Iran Human Rights, May 19, 2016

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