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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…

Kenya: Supreme Court to decide on legality of the death penalty

Kenyan courtroom
The Supreme Court will on Thursday deliver a judgment on the constitutionality of the death sentence.

Death row convicts Francis Karioko Muruatetu and Wilson Thirimbu Mwangi, who have been in jail for the last 14 years since 2003, had filed the case at the apex court while seeking that the mandatory death penalty should be scrapped from the Kenyan law.


Abolished


The duo were convicted alongside 5 other suspects, including the wife of former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja, for the grisly murder of businessman Lawrence Githinji Magondu.

As of December 2010, 139 countries out of 197 under the UN had abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The decision to be delivered is expected to be a landmark one.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists Kenyan chapter, Legal Resources Foundation, Katiba Institute and the Death Penalty Project are listed as amicus in the case.

Death penalty


Notably, in Kenya, there have been no executions since 1987 for accused persons sentenced to death.

Those sentenced to death are to serve a lifelong jail term unless pardoned by the President.

Murder and robbery with violence attract the death penalty in the Kenyan criminal law.

Mandatory death sentence now unconstitutional in Kenya


Mandatory death sentence is no longer lawful in Kenya.

This is after the Supreme Court on Thursday declared Section 204 of the Penal Code, which stipulates mandatory death sentence, as unconstitutional.


'Valid'


However, the top court specified that this decision does not affect validity of the death sentence.

The decision means death sentence is still lawful but not mandatory.

Murder and robbery with violence are the offences in the Kenyan criminal law that attract a death penalty.

The top court judges directed the Attorney-General, the Director of Public Prosecutions and other relevant agencies to prepare a detailed professional review of all murder and robbery with violence cases similar as pertains sentencing.

They also ordered that a copy of the judgment be forwarded to Speakers of Parliament and the National Council for Law Reporting to give way forward for any necessary amendments to death sentence.

The judges also ordered that the 2 Kenyans who filed the suit should have a priority hearing before the High Court and be freshly sentenced.

Murder


Death row convicts Francis Karioko Muruatetu and Wilson Thirimbu Mwangi, who have been in jail for the last 14 years, filed the case.

They asked the apex court to scrap mandatory mandatory death penalty from the Kenyan law.

The duo were convicted alongside 5 others - including the wife of former Lands Commissioner Wilson Gachanja for the murder of businessman Lawrence Githinji Magondu.

As of December 2010, 139 countries out of 197 under the UN had already abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

The Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, the International Commission of Jurists Kenyan chapter, Legal Resources Foundation, Katiba Institute and the death penalty project were listed as amicus in the case.

Source: nation.co.ke, December 13, 2017


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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