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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: man hanged on drug charges, two executed for murder

Public hanging in Iran
Iran: Barbaric and medieval punishments
A 36-year-old husband and father of two small children was executed by Iranian authorities on drug related charges.

Iran Human Rights (NOV 30 2016): A prisoner with drug related charges was reportedly hanged in Adelabad, Shiraz's central prison (Fars province, southern Iran), on Tuesday November 22. 

Close sources have identified the prisoner as 36-year-old Mehdi Shamsinejad, a husband and father to two small children.

In 2014, Iranian authorities arrested Mr. Shamsinejad for allegedly trafficking 600 grams of the narcotics crystal meth and crack. 

He was sentenced to death in 2015 by branch 3 of the revolutionary court in Shiraz, presided by Judge Hashemi.

Iranian authorities, including the Judiciary and the media, have been silent about Mr. Shamsinejad's execution.

A prisoner was reportedly hanged in Khomeyn Prison (Markazi province, central Iran) on Wednesday November 23, and another prisoner was reportedly hanged in Lakan, Rasht's central prison (Gilan province, northern Iran) on Saturday November 26. Both of the prisoners were executed on murder charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner in Rasht is Shabaan Ranjbar, who was detained in prison for 20 years before his execution. 

The human rights news agency, HRANA has identified the prisoner in Khomeyn Prison as Gholamhossein Beigi, who was detained in prison for 18 years before his execution.

Iranian official sources, including the media and Judiciary, have been silent about these two executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, November 29-30, 2016

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