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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 Supreme Court Confirms Death Sentence for Businessman Babak Zanjani

Babak Zanjani
Babak Zanjani
Iran Human Rights (DEC 5 2016): The death sentence for Babak Zanjani, the prime suspect in a high profile financial corruption case, has been confirmed by Iran's Supreme Court.

Gholamreza Ansari, a senior official at the Supreme Court, confirmed the news to the state-run news agency, Mizan. 

In regards to the two other defendants in the case, Mehdi Shams and Hamid Fallah Heravi, Ansari said their death sentences were quashed by the Supreme Court pending a new trial.

Babak Morteza Zanjani is an Iranian businessman who was arrested on the order of Iran's Attorney General on December 30, 2013 under corruption and bribery charges in alleged connection to skirting international sanctions and money laundering. 

In March 2016, an Iranian court reportedly sentenced Zanjani, Shams and Fallah Heravi to death and ordered them to pay a fine equalling to one fourth of the total amount of money they allegedly laundered.

Iran Human Rights condemns the execution sentence confirmed for Babak Zanjani, and is deeply concerned about the Iranian authorities' usage of the death penalty sentence for cases of financial corruption.

"The Iranian authorities turn to the death penalty as the solution to all their problems. They are are using Babak Zanjani as a scapegoat to evade accountability for and divert public opinion from the deep corruption which exists within all levels of the Iranian political establishment ," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson for Iran Human Rights.

Source: Iran Human Rights, December 5, 2016

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