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Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

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"Whether guilty or not, the outcome of the death penalty is the same. In Iran, the death penalty is by hanging, and it takes from several agonising seconds to several harrowing minutes for death to occur and for everything to be over."

Every year several hundred people are executed by the Iranian authorities.
According to reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR) and other human rights groups, death row prisoners have often no access to a defence lawyer after their arrest and are sentenced to death following unfair trials and based on confessions extracted from them under torture. 
These are issues which have been addressed in IHR’s previous reports. The current report is based on first-hand accounts of several inmates held in Iran's prisons and their families. The report seeks to illustrate other aspects of how the death penalty affects the inmate, their families and, as a consequence, society.
How does a death row inmate experience his final hours?
Speaking about the final ho…

Philippines: Defense team eyed for poor offenders facing death penalty

Extreme poverty in Manila, Philippines
Extreme poverty in Manila, Philippines
A Capital Defense Unit with a budget of P260 million that would provide legal assistance to convicts who will be meted death penalty has been proposed in the House of Representatives.

Rep. Luis Campos Jr. of Makati City (Metro Manila) made the proposal in light of ongoing debates on restoration of capital punishment for heinous crimes in the chamber.

Campos over the weekend noted that there should be a state-funded CDU that will provide topnotch private attorneys to poor convicts facing execution to ensure that nobody gets wrongfully doomed on account of his or her simply being poor and inability to obtain superior legal representation.

"Assuming Congress decides to revive death verdicts for the worst criminal offenders, we have to ensure that disadvantaged individuals accused of capital felonies receive the best legal defense available," he said in a statement.

According to Campos, the CDU is in accordance with Section 11, Article 3 of the 1987 Constitution that reads, "Adequate legal assistance shall not be denied to any person by reason of poverty."

He suggested that the CDU be run by the University of the Philippines College of Law's Institute of Human Rights and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, with the university paying for all the legal fees of poor defendants facing potential death sentences.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development, Campos said, will determine the beneficiaries of the CDU, which will be a different office from the Public Attorney's Office.

"We have to acknowledge that getting hold of adequate legal remedies has a price not everybody can pay," Campos said.

House leaders have announced that administration lawmakers are likely to vote for the passage of death penalty if the measure will provide that penalties for heinous crimes will range from lifetime imprisonment to death, depending on the judge's discretion.

But House Senior Deputy Minority Leader and Rep. Lito Atienza of Buhay party-list would not agree to such compromise, warning that only impoverished citizens inadequately represented at trial would get death sentences.

"Moneyed people who are able to retain high-priced lawyers would always escape conviction. Sadly, the quality of legal representation is still the single biggest factor that would determine whether a defendant receives or dodges the death sentence," Atienza said.

Source: Manila Times, February 11, 2017

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