Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

Washington state: Exonerated man urges end to death penalty in Bremerton speech

Kirk Bloodsworth
Kirk Bloodsworth, the 1st person to be exonerated from a death sentence by DNA testing in the United States, spoke to an audience at the Emmanuel Apolistic Church in Bremerton on Saturday about his experiences being imprisoned as an innocent man.

In 1984, Bloodsworth was arrested for the rape and murder of 9-year-old Dawn Hamilton in Baltimore County, Maryland. He was sentenced to death in 1985.

Bloodsworth spent a significant portion of his time incarcerated reading and studying, and detailed to the audience the breakthrough in his quest for innocence, which came while reading "The Blooding" by Joseph Wambaugh, a chronicle of the 1st use of DNA testing in a criminal case to convict a serial killer in England.

"DNA - deoxyribonucleic acid. Took me almost 10 years to learn how to pronounce that," Bloodsworth said. "I didn't know at the time that those 3 letters were my get-out-of-jail and freedom card."

The event was hosted by Witness to Innocence, a national organization comprised and led by exonerated death row inmates and their family members.

"I think innocence is one of the most compelling reasons to abolish the death penalty, and I think even people who theoretically believe in the death penalty don't think we should kill innocent people," said Stefanie Anderson, the director of communications of Witness to Innocence and the board president of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Bloodsworth was in Olympia on Thursday and Friday lobbying for the repeal of the death penalty. On Thursday, Senate Bill 6052, which proposes to replace capital punishment with life imprisonment without parole, advanced out of the Senate committee on a 4-3 party-line vote.

Antoinette DeWalt of Bremerton attended the Saturday talk as an ardent supporter of abolishing the death penalty. But she said Bloodsworth's speech and his fight for his innocence was inspiring.

Steve Belknap, who drove from Olympia to hear Bloodsworth speech, was similarly impressed.

"It just makes it so shockingly apparent that this system fails so many," he said. "I think that's why it's so important to share this message with so many people for the sake of justice."

Repealing the death penalty has been a polarizing conversation for state legislators in recent years. Past bills on the issue have been stalled.

The chairmen of the of the Law and Justice Committee, state Sen. Jamie Pedersen, D-Seattle, along with 3 others voted yes on Thursday to advance the bill. 3 Republicans, including Sen. Jan Angel, R-Port Orchard, voted no.

Kitsap County Sheriff Gary Simpson was one of the many who testified before the committee in opposition to the bill. Simpson spoke about his personal experience as a family member of a murder victim. His stepdaughter, Georgia Gunzer, was murdered in her Tacoma home in 2011. Alphonso Albert Bell is serving a 38-year sentence for Gunzer's death.

He cited other examples of murder cases in Kitsap County where he thought the death penalty may have deterred the crimes.

"I hope that my examples give you some insights into what the families and the victims have to go through as survivors," Simpson said in his testimony. "Without the death penalty, the plea for life without the possibility of parole is almost impossible. It's not all about economics. It is about public safety, it is about deterrent and it is about fair justice."

A study by Seattle University in 2015 determined that death penalty cases cost on average $1 million more to prosecute because of the lengthy appeal process.

Critics of the death penalty, such as King County prosecutor Dan Satterberg, argue that it's not only costly, but ineffective as a deterrent.

"It's not about what the killers deserve; it's about what we deserve," Satterberg said during his testimony on Jan. 22. "If you look at it carefully and take away the politics and the emotion, by any measure this doesn't work. Our criminal justice system would be stronger without the death penalty."

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee instituted a moratorium on the death penalty across the state in 2014.

32 people have been sentenced to death since Washington state reinstated the death penalty in 1981. But only 5 have been executed.

Since 1973, 161 death row inmates have been exonerated nationwide.

As Senate Bill 6052 makes its way through the Legislature, Bloodsworth urged those in the audience to voice their opinions to district representatives.

"I know it's a heavy issue, but we've got to talk about the heavy stuff and tell them to pass the bill so it doesn't happen to their neighbor," he said.

Source: Kitsap Sun, January 28, 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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