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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Iran: Two Hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison and Two Hanged in Public

Public hanging in Kazeroon Iran, on August 11, 2016
Public hanging in Kazeroon Iran, on August 11, 2016
Two prisoners were hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison on Wednesday August 10, while another two prisoners were hanged in public in two different Iranian cities on Tuesday August 11.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 11 2016): On Thursday August 11, two prisoners were hanged in public, one in the city of Ravansar (Kermanshah province, western Iran) and one in the city of Kazeroon (Fars province, south central Iran). 

On Wednesday August 10, at least two prisoners were reportedly executed at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison (west of Tehran) on murder charges.

On Monday August 8, Iran Human Rights had reported on the transfer of at least four prisoners at Rajai Shahr Prison to solitary confinement in preparation for their executions. 

The execution sentences of two of these prisoners were reportedly carried out on Wednesday. Sources say the names of the two prisoners are: Fariborz Jalali and Gholamreza Arabderazi. 

The execution sentences of the two other two prisoners, identified as Shokr Ali Ahi and Majid Shirafkan, were stopped by the complainants on their case files.

The state-run news site Jame Jam reports on the public execution of the prisoner in Kermanshah. 

The prisoner, who is not udentified in the report, was reportedly hanged for the murder of Salim Ghanbari, former prosecutor of Ravansar. "The people of Ravansar had organized an online campaign calling for a boycott of this public execution to urge citizens not to attend. This is why not many people attended," a confirmed source tells Iran Human Rights.

The state-run news agency Mehr reports on the public execution of the prisoner in Fars. 

According to the report, the prisoner, identified as Abbas Tahmasebi, had previous murder convictions in his case file, but he was arrested and sentenced to death for "purchasing and selling of 100 grams of heroin, purchasing and selling 39 grams of crystal meth, and trafficking and possessing 40 grams of heroin". 

Iran Human Rights has uploaded a video of Mr. Tahmasebi's execution.


Public hanging in Ravansar, Iran, on August 11, 2016
Public hanging in Ravansar, Ira, on August 11, 2016

Public hanging in Ravansar, Iran, on August 11, 2016

Public hanging in Ravansar, Iran, on August 11, 2016

Public hanging in Ravansar, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016
Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016

Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Public hanging in Kazeroon, Iran, on August 11, 2016


Source: Iran Human Rights, August 11, 2016

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