Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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: Mother of executed woman pledges to fight for abolishment of death penalty

Rayhaneh Jabbari
Rayhaneh Jabbari
Mother of Rayhaneh Jabbari who hanged in October 2014 for defending herself against assault by a member of the Iranian regime's intelligence has pledged to fight for abolishment of death sentence in Iran.

In a letter published in news networks, Mrs Sholeh Pakravan, wrote: "It's now 2 years full of ups and downs since Rayhaneh was executed. Today, I hate the death penalty even more."

"2 years ago, I was totally focusing on preventing Rayhaneh from being executed. Today, however, I'm living with the hope for an Iran without the death sentence. I'm not afraid of anything for taking this path. I'm looking the demon 'death sentence' (Iranian regime) right in the eye, waiting for the right time to deliver it the final blow, so that all the gallows be relegated to the museums."

In a reference to children killed in Iran while playing by hanging themselves following watching public hangings in streets, she added: "instead of 'execution game', let our children play 'life game'.

"I understand every second the survivors of an execution go through. I understand the meaning of responsibility and I knowingly accept it."

She continues: "I can't stand to see the youth, like my own children, mourning the loss of their executed sisters or brothers. I can't stand to witness the tears shed by fathers and mothers for their executed children."

She concludes: "I can't stand to see a human struggling in mid-air .. and then the dead body be wrapped in a cover and sent to the cemetery. I shout with all my heart NO TO EXECUTION."

Source: NCR-Iran, October 10, 2016

International call to save the life of a 22-year-old woman from execution

The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran urges all international human rights and women's rights organizations and agencies to take urgent action to save the life of Zeinab Sekanvan, a 22-year-old woman imprisoned in the Central Prison of Orumiyeh, who is in the danger of imminent execution.

Zeinab Sekanvand comes from a village near Makou (Western Azerbaijan Province, northwestern Iran). She was forced into marriage when she was 15 due to her family's poverty. After 2 years of painful life, she was arrested at age 17 on the charge of killing her husband.

After her 5 years imprisonment, on October 3, Zainab was notified of the dead penalty and since then she is on the death row.

Source: The Women's Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, October 10, 2016

Iranian child bride spared execution for killing abusive husband because she was pregnant now faces being hanged after giving birth to a stillborn

Zeinab Sokian
Zeinab Sokian
An Iranian child bride could be hanged within weeks after she was sentenced to death for allegedly murdering her abusive husband.

However, Zeinab married another prisoner while in jail and fell pregnant, and as Iranian law prevents pregnant women from being executed her death sentence was delayed.

However, on September 30 she gave birth to a stillborn child in Euromieh central prison in northern Iran, meaning she could now be put to death within weeks.

Zeinab, who hails from a small village in northern Iran, was just 15 when she married her 1st husband.

Under Iranian law girls can marry at 13-years-old and boys at 15, although international human rights organisations say both parties in a marriage should be aged 18 or over.

During her trial, Zeinab claimed that her husband frequently beat and abused her, a source told Human Rights Watch. However, her claims were dismissed by the court.

The human rights organisation says that Zeinab was informed by authorities this week her execution could take place in the coming weeks.

Iran passed legal reforms in 2013, which give judges the discretion to spare children the death penalty if they do not understand the nature of their crime.

The law also entitles those sentenced to death prior to 2013 to a new trial - but only if they request it.

Human Right Watch is calling for all pre-2013 defendents to face a new trial.

'The 2013 reforms aimed to prevent wrongful conviction of children for capital offenses. If the Iranian government is serious about this goal, it should at a minimum grant everyone facing the death penalty for alleged offenses committed as children a new trial that conforms to international human rights standards,' the organisation said.

'This includes Zeinab, an alleged victim of domestic violence, who may otherwise imminently face the gallows.'

Source: Daily Mail, October 10, 2016

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