America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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: 26 hanged, among them 2 women

Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric punishments
Iran: A medieval theocracy, barbaric punishments
Iran Human Rights (JAN 15 2017): In the last few days, at least 26 people, including two women, were reportedly executed in various Iranian prisons.


According to close sources, at least 14 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Karaj Central Prison on Saturday January 14 on drug related charges. Iran Human Rights has obtained the names of ten of these prisoners: Mohammad Soleimani, Ali Ebadi, Ali Reza Moradi, Majid Badarloo, Omid Garshasebi, Ali Yousefi, Seyed Ali Sorouri, Ebrahim Jafari, Ali Mohammad Lorestani, and Mohsen Jelokhani.

12 of these prisoners were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on the morning of Sunday January 8 in preparation for their executions. In a recent joint statement, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch called on Iranian authorities to halt these executions. Iran Human Rights had also released a statement calling on the Iranian authorities to halt these executions.

According to a family member of one of the executed prisoners, two women were among these prisoners. They were reportedly transferred from Gharchak Prison to Karaj Central Prison for execution. The names of the two women are not known at this time.


At least five prisoners were reportedly executed at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on Saturday January 14. According to close sources, these prisoners were sentenced to death on murder and Moharebeh (enmity against God) charges. Iran Human Rights has obtained the names of four of these prisoners: Siamak Shafiee, Abouzar Alijani, Saeed Teymouri, and Reza Naghizadeh.


On Thursday January 12, a prisoner was reportedly hanged at Hamedan Central Prison on drug related charges. Iran Human Rights has identified the prisoner as 37-year-old Babak Asghari.

"Babak was arrested in July 2011 and was sentenced to death in May 2013 for possession and trafficking of four kilograms of crystal meth and three kilograms of hash," a confirmed source tells Iran Human Rights.


According to the human rights news agency, HRANA, at least three prisoners were hanged at Qazvin's central prison on Thursday January 12. HRANA has identified one of the prisoners as Akbar Kabiri, sentenced to death on drug related charges. The names and charges of the two other prisoners are not known at this time.


According to a report by Iranian state-run media, IRIB, two prisoners were hanged at Rasht's central prison on Saturday January 14 on drug related charges. The report does not identify the names of the prisoners, but mentions other details about them. One of the prisoners was identified as 31 years old, charged with trafficking two kilograms of crystal meth. The other prisoner was reportedly charged with trafficking one kilogram and 766 grams of crystal meth.


According to the Iranian state-run media, Rokna, a prisoner was hanged at a prison in the city of Sari on Wednesday January 12 on murder charges. The report does not identify the name of the prisoner, but cites the age of the prisoner as 21 years.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 15, 2017

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