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…

Nebraska death-row inmate John Lotter denied in latest appeal

John Lotter
John Lotter
LINCOLN — Death row inmate John Lotter has failed in another attempt to have his sentence overturned in federal court.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals recently dismissed Lotter’s appeal of a lower-court decision that allowed his death sentence to stand for the 1993 killing of three people at a rented farmhouse near Humboldt, Nebraska. Regarded as a hate crime that targeted Teena Brandon, who was a transgender man and went by Brandon, the case inspired the 1999 critically acclaimed film “Boys Don’t Cry.”

Although the decision represents a blow to Lotter’s efforts to escape death row, he has another ongoing legal challenge that prevents the state from proceeding with his execution while the challenge is pending. In addition, the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services has not yet replaced expired lethal injection drugs, a prison spokeswoman said Tuesday.

Lotter’s appeal centers on his argument that Nebraska’s system of allowing judges rather than juries to make final sentencing determinations in death penalty cases is similar to one formerly used by Florida, which was declared unconstitutional in 2016 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

In February, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kopf likened the argument to a “Hail Mary” play in football and dismissed Lotter’s petition for habeas corpus. Last week, a three-judge panel of the federal appeals court wrote that it had carefully reviewed the court file before denying Lotter’s appeal.

Lotter’s attorney, Rebecca Woodman of Lenexa, Kansas, declined comment Tuesday. Lotter could, however, ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the appellate court’s decision.

In the meantime, a key ruling is pending in Richardson County District Court on a post-conviction motion that raises the same challenge of Nebraska’s death penalty sentencing procedure. Regardless of how the court rules in that case, an appeal to the Nebraska Supreme Court will almost certainly occur.

Lotter, 46, is the second-longest-serving inmate on Nebraska’s death row behind Carey Dean Moore, who was convicted of the 1979 murders of two Omaha cabdrivers.

Separate juries convicted Lotter and Marvin Thomas Nissen of shooting Brandon, 21, Lisa Lambert, 24, and Phillip DeVine, 22.

Nissen was sentenced to life in prison after he provided testimony for the state at Lotter’s trial. Nissen has subsequently said he fired the handgun that killed all three victims but lied on the witness stand when he told jurors that Lotter was the gunman.

Source: Omaha World-Herald, Joe Duggan, August 9, 2017

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