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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: 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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