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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Iran: 7 executed on drug, murder charges

Medieval punishments: Watching a public hanging in Iran
Medieval punishments: Watching a public hanging in Iran
Iran Human Rights (JULY 22 2017): A prisoner was reportedly hanged at Zabol Central Prison, and three prisoners were reportedly hanged at Zahedan Central Prison. Two of the prisoners were reportedly Afghan citizens.

According to a report by the human rights news agency, HRANA, the prisoner at Zabol Central Prison was hanged on the morning of Saturday July 22 on drug related charges. 

The report identifies the prisoner as Salman Mirshahi, sentenced to death on the charge of one kilogram and 900 grams of crack, father of two children.

According to a report by the Baluch Activists Campaign, two prisoners at Zahedan Central Prison were also hanged on the morning of July 22. 

The report identifies the prisoners as Kheir Mohammad Saadat, 46 years of age, and Bashir Rasouli, 37 years of age. Both of these prisoners are Afghan citizens and were held in prison for more than eight years before they were executed. 

Another prisoner was hanged at this prison on Wednesday July 19 on murder charges. The prisoner has been identified as Mahmoud Damani.

Two prisoners were reportedly hanged at Bandar Abbas Central Prison on drug related charges, and a prisoner was reportedly hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison on murder charges.

According to close sources, the prisoner at Rajai Shar Prison was executed on the morning of Monday July 17. Close sources have identified the prisoner as Mansour Mohammadi, and he was transferred to solitary confinement on Saturday July 15 in preparation for his execution. It is not usual for prisoners at Rajai Shahr Prison to be executed on a Monday, executions at this prison are typically carried out on Wednesdays.

Close sources say the two prisoners at Bandar Abbas Central Prison were executed on Sunday July 16. 

The prisoners have been identified as Nasser Khosravi, 45 years of age, and Hashem Ghanbarloo, 41 years of age. These two prisoners were convicted in the same file on the charge of six kilograms and 800 grams of crystal meth.

"Hashem and Nasser would purchase and sell cigarettes, and they were arrested in their cars in 2011," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

The execution of prisoners with drug charges continues in Iran while the Iranian Parliament has approved a general plan to amend the law for combating drugs. The Parliament is scheduled to vote on the bill again following a two-week holiday. In the event of the final approval of the plan, the death sentences for many prisoners will be commuted to a prison sentence.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state-run media, have not announced these executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 22, 2017

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