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Iran Execution Trends Six Months After the New Anti-Narcotics Law

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IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MAY 28, 2018): On Monday, May 10, 2018, Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported the execution of Kiomars Nasouhi, a prisoner sentenced to death for drug offenses. This execution is the first drug-related execution registered by IHR since the latest amendment to the Anti-Narcotics Law was enforced on November 14, 2017.
According to reports by IHR, at least 77 people, among them three juvenile offenders have been executed between January 1. and May 20, 2018. Four were hanged in public spaces. Of the reported executions 62 were sentenced to death for murder, seven for Moharebeh (being an “enemy of God”), seven for rape, and 1 for drug offenses. For comparison, it is reported that during the same period in 2017, at least 203 people were executed, 112 were executed for drug offenses. The significant reduction in the number of executions in 2018 seems to be due to a temporary halt in drug-related executions as the number of executions for murder charges were nearly the same as …

State Senators and Retired District Judge: In Nebraska, sentence of life imprisonment means life without parole

Death penalty supporters attempting to confuse voters

Lincoln, NE - At news conferences in Lincoln and Omaha today, Republican and Democratic State Senators and a retired District Court Judge all agreed that the law replacing the death penalty with mandatory sentence of life in prison means those inmates will spend the rest of their lives behind bars.

State Senator Colby Coash, a member of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee who successfully help lead the effort to change the law and end Nebraska’s death penalty, said the bill passed last year, with 16 Republican votes, 13 Democratic votes, and 1 Independent vote, replaced the death penalty with a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

“In Nebraska a sentence of life imprisonment means life without parole. The legislature examined life imprisonment extensively for years and we are crystal clear that we have a strong life sentence that guarantees those with that sentence die in prison,” Coash said.

Senator Coash pointed out that last May, Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson affirmed Nebraska law by issuing a Legal Opinion on the issue.

“Under current Nebraska law, a sentence of life imprisonment is effectively life imprisonment without parole". Attorney General Doug Peterson, May 5, 2015

Senator Adam Morfeld, also a member of the Judiciary Committee, said those who want to bring back the death penalty are attempting to confuse voters by suggesting those sentenced to life will be able to get out.

“You will hear those who want to keep the death penalty say that if we get rid of it, people are going to get out. This is simply untrue. With a sentence of life imprisonment, a person can not be released,” Morfeld said.

“There is a constitutional right in Nebraska for the Board of Pardons to commute a sentence to something lesser. However, the possibility that those three elected officials would commute a life sentence for 1st Degree Murder to a term of years is just as remote as the possibility it would commute a death sentence to one of life or term of years,” Morfeld said.

“The board of pardons is composed of the Governor, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State – who must vote to commute a sentence to something less than life for it to be possible for parole to happen.”

“If voters are concerned that without the death penalty those currently on death row will ever be paroled, they should simply ask the Governor or Attorney General which of the ten men on death row he is going to commute to a sentence less than life.”

“With the death penalty gone, we can be 100% confident those sentenced to life imprisonment will die in prison,” Morfeld said.Retired District Court Judge Ronald Reagan, who served on the bench for over 32 years and sentenced John Joubert to death, said he has no doubt about Nebraska’s life imprisonment law.

“I want to make sure there is no legal confusion that life imprisonment means life in prison, no chance of parole. Anything else is political posturing and has no grounding in the legal realities,” Reagan said.

“I have seen the worst of the worst cases in Nebraska and I have studied the laws very carefully. Let me be perfectly clear about what happens when someone is sentenced to life imprisonment in Nebraska: they die in prison,” Reagan said.

“The Unicameral and Attorney General have been abundantly clear that life imprisonment means life. I want to add that the Nebraska Supreme Court has also affirmed this. In 2014, in the Castaneda case, our state’s highest court said ‘a life’ sentence in Nebraska is no different than a sentence of ‘life without parole’, ” Reagan said.“I am confident if Nebraskans are able to have the same conversation that the Unicameral has been having over the last several years, they will come to the same conclusion that we did – that our death penalty is broken and life imprisonment is a better alternative. It exists, and it works,” Coash said.

Source: Retain a Just Nebraska, May 18, 2016. Retain a Just Nebraska is a public education campaign to urge the retention of LB 268, the Nebraska Legislature’s vote to end the death penalty. Supporters include fiscal conservatives, law enforcement officials, faith leaders, murder victims’ families, and Nebraskans from all walks of life. It is a statewide coalition conducting public education on the smart alternative of life in prison without parole, which protects society without the many problems of our death penalty system.

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