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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…

Five Hanged in Northern Iran, One in Public, Four at Ghezel Hesar on Drug Charges

Public hanging in Iran (file photo)
Public hanging in Iran (file photo)
Five prisoners hanged in northern Iran in the span of two days: one in public on murder charges and four at Ghezel Hesar Prison on drug charges.

Iran Human Rights (May 5 2016): A prisoner with murder charges was reportedly hanged in public in the city of Nur (located in the northern province of Mazandaran) on the morning of Monday May 2. State-run agency, Iran News, has identified the prisoner who was hanged in public as "Avaz". 

On Tuesday May 3, four prisoners with drug related charges were hanged at Ghezel Hesar Prison (located in the northern city of Karaj). 

According to close sources, these four prisoners have been identified as: Reza Hosseini, Majid Imani, Abdolhamid Bameri, and Ahmad Altafi. Reza Hosseini was reportedly transferred to Ghezel Hesar from Tehran Central Prison (also known as Fashafouye) for his execution. 

Iranian official sources, include state media and the Judiciary, have been silent about these four executions.

Iran Human Rights (May 3 2016): On Sunday May 1, one prisoner was reportedly hanged at Nahavand Prison (in the western province of Hamadan) and two prisoners were reportedly hanged at Mashhad Central Prison (in the northeastern province of Razavi Khorasan).

According to a report by the Judiciary in Hamadan, the prisoner hanged at Nahavand was executed on murder charges. The report identifies the prisoner only by the initials, M.R.

The state-run news site, Rokna, reported on the executions of the two unrelated prisoners in Mashhad, but did not publish their names or initials. According to the report, one of the prisoners was hanged on murder charges while the other was a 25-year-old hanged on rape charges.

Source: Iran Human Rights, May 5, 2016

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