Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017

IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MARCH 13, 2018): The 10th annual report on the death penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and ECPM shows that in 2017 at least 517 people were executed in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 
This number is comparable with the execution figures in 2016 and confirms the relative reduction in the use of the death penalty compared to the period between 2010 and 2015. 
Nevertheless, with an average of more than one execution every day and more than one execution per one million inhabitants in 2017, Iran remained the country with the highest number of executions per capita.
2017 Annual Report at a Glance:
At least 517 people were executed in 2017, an average of more than one execution per day111 executions (21%) were announced by official sources.Approximately 79% of all executions included in the 2017 report, i.e. 406 executions, were not announced by the authorities.At least 240 people (46% of all executions) were executed for murder charges - 98 more than in 2016.At le…

Arizona Agrees to Settle Part of Death Penalty Lawsuit

Arizona has agreed to settle part of a lawsuit by promising it won't again use the sedative midazolam as part of a three-drug combination while carrying out the death penalty.

The state didn't acknowledge any liability in settling the claim that the use of midazolam doesn't ensure that inmates won't feel the pain caused by another drug in the combination.

A remaining claim in the lawsuit alleges the state has abused its discretion in the methods and amounts of drugs used in past executions.

Executions were put on hold in the state after the 2014 death of convicted killer Joseph Rudolph Wood, who was given 15 doses of midazolam and a painkiller and who took nearly two hours to die. His attorney said the execution was botched.

Executions in Arizona will remain on hold until the entire lawsuit is resolved.

Similar challenges to the death penalty are playing out in other parts of the country that seek more transparency about where states get their execution drugs.

States are struggling to obtain execution drugs because European pharmaceutical companies began blocking the use of their products for lethal injections.

The agreement filed in court Monday in Arizona came six months after the state said it had eliminated its use of midazolam because its supply had expired and another supplier couldn't be found amid pressure from death penalty opponents.

The judge who has the final say on whether the settlement takes effect has expressed concerns in the past over whether the state's promise not to use midazolam could be reversed by a future state prisons director.

The settlement deal specifies that the promise applies to future prison directors and imposes consequences for breaching the agreement.

Under the agreement, if the state intends on using the drug again, inmates could resurrect the midazolam claim and a permanent prohibition on using the drug would take effect.

Private lawyers who have racked up legal fees in representing inmates in the lawsuit say they won't seek reimbursement from the state on the midazolam claim if Arizona keeps its promise.

"There is a financial incentive for the state never to use midazolam," said Dale Baich, an assistant federal public defender who also represents the inmates in the lawsuit.

The Arizona Department of Corrections and attorney general's office, which is representing the state, didn't immediately return requests Tuesday for comment on the agreement.

Source: Associated Press, Jacques Billeaud, December 20, 2016

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