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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: Two executed in Tabriz, Khorramabad

Prisoner with Mental Illness Executed on Murder Charges

A prisoner who reportedly suffered from a mental illness was hanged at Tabriz Central Prison on murder charges.

According to the human rights news agency HRANA, the execution was carried out on the morning of Wednesday April 12. 

The prisoner, 27-year-old Rahman Hosseinpour, who was held in the "psychotherapy ward" of the prison, was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement prior to his execution.

"Rahman suffers from a mental illness. He committed murder in self defense after he was sexually abused. He was not mentally stable at all. Despite this, his death penalty sentence was still carried out," says a source close to the family of Mr. Hosseinpour.

Iranian official sources, including the media and Judiciary, have not announced Rahman Hosseinpour's execution.

Prisoner Hanged on Drug Charges


A prisoner was reportedly hanged at Khorramabad's Parsilon Prison on drug related charges.

According to the human rights news agency HRANA, the execution was carried out on the morning of Saturday April 8. 

Iran Human Rights has received confirmation on this execution from close sources.

The prisoner, who has been identified as Maziar Geravand, was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement along with another prisoner, Morteza Sanaie, in preparation for execution. 

According to close sources, Mr. Sanaie's execution was stopped and he was taken back to his prison cell.

Maziar Geravand was reportedly sentenced to death on the charge of possession and trafficking of three kilograms of heroin. 

Mr. Geravand, who is the father of a three-year-old child, was reportedly in prison for three years before he was executed.

Iranian official sources, including the media and the Judiciary, have not announced Maziar Geravand's execution.

Executions for drug related charges continue in Iran despite a bill allegedly approved by the Judicial Committee of the Iranian Parliament to halt the death sentences of thousands for drug related charges.

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 13, 2017

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