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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.
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Death penalty is no longer needed in Washington

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It is time to abolish the death penalty in Washington state.

A proposal in the Legislature sponsored by state Sen. Maureen Walsh, R-College Place, is worthy of support.

Walsh offers strong arguments for ending capital punishment, starting with concern that families must endure the long and emotional appeals process in murder cases. Media coverage opens old wounds. And when the convicted killer is executed, families don't feel vindicated, she said.

"The death penalty is not accomplishing a wonderful relief for these families," Walsh said.

Beyond that, the appeals process is very expensive. A Seattle University study in 2015 found the appeals process in death penalty cases cost $1 million more than keeping the killer in prison for life.

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, has put a moratorium on executions while he is in office. The public reaction, which has been essentially very little, indicates the public either agrees or does not care.

The last execution in Washington was in 2010 at the state penitentiary in Walla Walla. To that point this newspaper accepted the death penalty as an option to punish those convicted of the most heinous acts imaginable.

The state has used capital punishment sparingly - and appropriately - since the death penalty was reinstated in 1981 and used for the 1st time in 30 years in 1993. 5 inmates have been executed - 2 by hanging and 3 by lethal injection - since capital punishment was reinstated.

A total of 110 executions have been carried out in the state (and before that territories) since 1849.

In 2009, the Union-Bulletin did an in-depth look at the death penalty. It was clear the costs of implementing the death penalty were enormous - about $20 million from 1981 through 2009 - with the appeals processing accounting for most of the spending.

Sentencing some to death is far more expensive than life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Some of the arguments for retaining the death penalty are based on the emotion of seeing a brutal killer pay the ultimate price, rather than as a deterrent to crime, or even justice.

A better approach, given the excessive expense and lack of relief for families, is to bring closure to these cases more quickly.

A sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole serves taxpayers as well as justice.

Source: Union-Bulletin,  Editorial Board, January 17, 2018


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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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