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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…

Iran: 23 executions in 2 days

Public hanging in Iran
Iranian Resistance calls for saving the lives of 10 young prisoners facing the gallows

At a time when 23 prisoners were executed on May 17 and 18 in the prisons of Urumieh, Tabriz, Yazd, Yasouj, Sari and Mashhad across Iran, another 10 young prisoners between the ages of 21 and 25 are currently facing imminent execution. 

On Saturday, May 21, these inmates were transferred from various wards, including the youths’ ward, in Gohardasht Prison in Karaj (west of Tehran) to solitary confinement in the quarantine ward of this facility, specifically allocated for prisoners before being sent to the gallows. 

The Iranian Resistance calls on the international community and especially human rights organizations to take urgent action aimed at preventing these vicious executions. The goal of the mullahs’ regime in Iran, already engulfed in crises, in increasing the horrendous use of executions is to cement a climate of fear in society to rein in increasing social protests.

Yasouj public prosecutor Mehrdad Karimi said that these executions “will teach a lesson for others in the society, and the judiciary will take action with the utmost severity and full jurisdiction.”

“There is no longer any time for counseling and this is a black month for hooligans and thugs; a new trend has been launched in the judiciary system… in the next few days several hooligans and thugs will be executed,” said Isfahan Province police chief Abdulreza Agha-Khani while launching the oppressive “Social Security” plan from May 21 and announcing the arrest of seven individuals described as ‘hooligans and thugs.’

“In implementing the plan to improve security, the struggle against hooligans and thugs is priority number one, and actions will be taken against drug distributors, people harassing women, raucousness regarding vice and hijab regulations, violating luxurious halls and restaurants, dog runners and vehicles with +20% tinted windows,” he added. (State-run Tasnim news agency – May 21, 2016).


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