FEATURED POST

The Blissful Ignorance of American neo-Nazis

Image
The violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville reflects the dangerous, vicious, open-the-floodgates culture that having a Bully-in-Chief in the White House has created in America.
Hundreds of protesters descended upon Charlottesville, Virginia, on August 12, 2017 for a “Unite the Right” rally. 
The rally was dispersed by police minutes after its scheduled start at noon, after clashes between rallygoers and counter-protesters, and after a torchlit pre-rally march Friday night descended into violence.
But later that day, as rallygoers began a march and counterprotests continued, a reported Nazi sympathizer drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one and injuring 19.
Self-described “pro-white” activist Jason Kessler organized the rally to protest the planned removal of a statue of confederate general Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. 
Kessler is affiliated with the alt-right movement that uses internet trolling tactics to argue against diversity and “id…

Iran parliament softens drug death penalty laws

Death row inmates at Ghezal Hesar prison in March 2015.
Awaiting execution: Death row inmates at Ghezal Hesar prison in March 2015.
The amendment will apply retroactively, thus commuting the sentences for many of the 5,300 inmates currently on death row for drug trafficking. Under the new bill, the punishment for those already convicted and given the death penalty or life in prison, other than those meeting the new execution requirements, will be commuted to up to 30 years in jail and a cash fine.

Iran’s parliament passed a long-awaited amendment to its drug trafficking laws on Sunday, raising the thresholds that can trigger capital punishment and potentially saving the lives of many on death row.

The bill must still be approved by the conservative-dominated Guardian Council but gained parliamentary approval after months of debate, according to parliament’s website and the ISNA news agency.

According to rights group Amnesty International, Iran was one of the top five executioners in the world in 2016, with most of its hangings related to illicit drugs. The watchdog noted sharp drops in the number of executions in Iran — down 42 percent to at least 567 that year.

The new law raises the amounts that can trigger the death penalty from 30 grams to two kilos for the production and distribution of chemical substances such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines. For natural substances such as opium and marijuana, the levels have been raised from five to 50 kilos.

The amendment will apply retroactively, thus commuting the sentences for many of the 5,300 inmates currently on death row for drug trafficking. It restricts the death penalty to criminals who lead drug-trafficking gangs, exploit minors below 18 years old in doing so, carry or draw firearms while committing drug-related crimes, or have a related previous conviction of the death penalty or a jail sentence of more than 15 years or life in prison. Under the new bill, the punishment for those already convicted and given the death penalty or life in prison, other than those meeting the new execution requirements, will be commuted to up to 30 years in jail and a cash fine.

Defending the bill in a parliamentary debate last week, Hassan Norouzi, the spokesman of parliament’s judicial and legal committee, said the costs for Iran’s war on drugs have almost doubled since 2010. He said more than 6 million people were involved in drugs in the country, 5.2 million of them addicts and 1.8 million users.

The amendment had faced opposition from police officials who believed that reducing or removing the death penalty would embolden criminals. But many judges had welcomed the softened law — and stayed execution sentences as they awaited the results of the parliamentary debate, Norouzi said.

Iran’s neighbour Afghanistan produces some 90 per cent of the world’s opium, which is extracted from poppy resin and refined to make heroin. The Islamic republic, a major transit point for Afghan-produced opiates heading to Europe and beyond, confiscates and destroys hundreds of tonnes of illicit narcotics every year.

Source: Agence France-Presse, August 13, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Comments

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Indonesia: The journey from death row

On death row, a whisper saved his life. He still does not know why

France condemns Iran execution of juvenile offender Alireza Tajiki

ISIS releases new pictures of gay man being thrown off a roof in Syria

Bali nine Renae Lawrence, other Australians recommended for sentence cut

Iran: Call to Save 7 Prisoners on the Verge of Execution

Missouri Supreme Court denies request for stay of execution

Iran: Four Prisoners Hanged, Authorities Silent

Deadline Approaches for Supreme Court Appeal in Koh Tao Murder Case