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…

Former Alabama death row inmates to share their stories of confinement, freedom

Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on Alabama death row
Anthony Ray Hinton spent nearly 30 years on Alabama death row
Racism, poverty, freedom and confinement will be the focus of speeches delivered by 2 former Alabama death row inmates, sharing their stories at the University of North Alabama later this month.

Anthony Ray Hinton, who spent 30 years on death row, and Gary Drinkard, who was released after 5 years, will share their stories of exoneration and wrongful conviction during a conference at UNA Feb. 23-24. The events are open to the public.

Hinton walked free in April 2015 at age 52. He'd been on death row for 30 years for the 1985 murders of 2 Birmingham fast food restaurant managers. Hinton and his attorneys asked prosecutors for years to retest the gun that linked him to the crime.

On April 3, Anthony Ray Hinton walked free, prosecutors dropping the charges - the U.S. Supreme Court had ordered a retrial - that he'd killed 2 men in a Birmingham area fast food managers in 1985. The bullets didn't match up beyond a doubt, the state said.

Shortly before his release, new tests ultimately ruled that the bullets found at the crime scenes couldn't be conclusively linked to the gun or to each other.

Hinton's conviction, he has said, is rooted in racism, poverty and failures of the criminal justice system.

"We want to help people think critically about the crimes and evidence that warrant sentencing someone to death," said Stephanie Renee Adair, one of several English graduate students helping plan the conference at UNA.

Incarceration has been a focus of Alabama politics recently, particularly with Gov. Robert Bentley's plans of spending millions on new prisons to house the state's inmates, who currently are being held in overcrowded facilities.

Bentley will propose a plan similar to the one he proposed last year, borrowing $800 million to build 4 new prisons, while closing most of the existing prisons.

"Mass incarceration is a crisis, but we're not really answering why," said Katie Owens-Murphy, an assistant professor of English at UNA. "Maybe the problem isn't with space but rather with the way the criminal justice system itself operates. Anthony Ray Hinton and Gary Drinkard show how it becomes possible to convict and sentence innocent people, even to death."

Gary Drinkard spent 5 years on death row for the Morgan County murder of Dalton Pace, a junkyard dealer. But, he was released in 2000 after getting a new trial. Drinkard said his lawyers weren't up to the task of defending him in a death penalty case the 1st time around, and the Alabama Supreme Court threw out his 1st conviction.

7 men have been released from death row in Alabama since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. One man who has been there shares his experience.

The 2 are speaking at the Alabama Regional Graduate Conference because its focus this year is on confinement. Graduate students have studied prison literature as part of their focus on American literature.

Anthony Ray Hinton and Gary Drinkard show how it becomes possible to convict and sentence innocent people, even to death.

Rather than having only academic research and scholarship tell the story of the criminal justice system, Adair said the conference will offer a real-life testimony of the system's failures.

"We're putting on human face on how the system can go wrong," Adair said.

Hinton will speak Feb. 23 at 6 p.m. in UNA's Guillot University Center. Drinkard will speak at 4 p.m. the next day.

Source: al.com, February 10, 2017

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Iran: Annual report on the death penalty 2017