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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Iran: Responsibility of carrying out judicial blinding placed on 11-year-old victim

"Fatemeh, 11, once again a victim due to the inhumane Iranian Sharia law."
"Fatemeh, 11, once again a victim due to the inhumane Iranian Sharia law."
A young girl blinded at the age of four chooses to approve the implementation of her attacker's retribution sentence.

Iran Human Rights (NOV 24 2016): Fatemeh, an 11-year-old girl who was blinded at the age of four by her uncle, is once again a victim due to the inhumane Iranian law of Qisas (retribution).

The blinding retribution sentence for a man who had blinded Fatemeh on July 8, 2009 was reportedly carried out two weeks ago in a prison in the Tehran area

In accordance with Iran's Islamic Penal Code, the age of maturity for females is 9 and for males is 15. As a result, the responsibility of the retribution sentence was placed on the shoulders of Fatemeh.

"I didn't know what to do, but when I was reminded of the moment that I was blinded with acid, I decided to implement the sentence, so I may send the message that the punishment of such a bitter action is retribution, and that nobody can get away after ruining someone else's life," said Fatemeh in an interview with Iranian state-run media.

At the age of four, Fatemeh was a victim of violence and brutality against children. 

With the implementation of the retribution sentence, Fatemeh is a victim again. She will have to live knowing that she is responsible for the blinding of a human being.

The retribution sentence requires the victim or the family of the victim to decide whether to forgive or approve the implementation of the sentence. When the victim or their family chooses to forgive, the offender is typically released shortly after, and justice is not served. 

If the victim or family approve the implementation of the sentence, they could experience mental health problems and thus become victims again.

"The retribution law, or Qisas, promotes violence and places the responsibility of the death penalty or other inhumane punishments, such as blinding, on ordinary citizens, including children. It is time that this inhumane law is abolished, and we call on the international community to help make this possible," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

Source: Iran Human Rights, November 24, 2016

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