FEATURED POST

Iran Execution Trends Six Months After the New Anti-Narcotics Law

Image
IRAN HUMAN RIGHTS (MAY 28, 2018): On Monday, May 10, 2018, Iran Human Rights (IHR) reported the execution of Kiomars Nasouhi, a prisoner sentenced to death for drug offenses. This execution is the first drug-related execution registered by IHR since the latest amendment to the Anti-Narcotics Law was enforced on November 14, 2017.
According to reports by IHR, at least 77 people, among them three juvenile offenders have been executed between January 1. and May 20, 2018. Four were hanged in public spaces. Of the reported executions 62 were sentenced to death for murder, seven for Moharebeh (being an “enemy of God”), seven for rape, and 1 for drug offenses. For comparison, it is reported that during the same period in 2017, at least 203 people were executed, 112 were executed for drug offenses. The significant reduction in the number of executions in 2018 seems to be due to a temporary halt in drug-related executions as the number of executions for murder charges were nearly the same as …

Attorney General Jeff Sessions outlines when to use death penalty on drug traffickers

His Master's Voice: Attorney General Jeff Sessions (right) and Donald Trump
Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday issued new guidance to federal prosecutors on how to apply the death penalty to numerous drug-related crimes.

Sessions advised federal prosecutors to utilize laws permitting capital punishment as a viable sentence, both in violent and non-violent cases.

In the memo sent to U.S. attorneys Wednesday morning, Sessions said that some of the "appropriate cases" to seek the death penalty include murder related to racketeering crimes, gun deaths occurring during drug trafficking crimes and murder related to criminal enterprise.

The memo also encouraged prosecutors to pursue capital punishment in cases involving "dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs."

According to the U.S. statutes, an "extremely large" quantity of drugs means distributing at least 600 times the amount of a given substance that would bring penalties of five to 40 years in prison.

The Trump administration has frequently addressed the ongoing American opioid crisis, which has claimed more than 64,000 lives in 2016 alone, according to Sessions.

The memo also proposed appointing an opioid coordinator in every U.S. district and expanding the use of data analysis tools from the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit.

Sessions' letter went into more detail, however, when describing the application of the death penalty in the fight against the drug crisis.

"I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking and the destruction it causes in our nation," Sessions said.

Trump's tough talk on drugs


The memo follows remarks from President Donald Trump on Monday calling for some drug dealers to be sentenced to death.

"We can have all the blue-ribbon committees we want, but if we don't get tough on drug dealers we're wasting our time. And that toughness includes the death penalty," Trump said in a speech in New Hampshire.

The statutes allowing prosecutors to pursue the death penalty are already embedded in U.S. law. But the 1994 provisions permitting the execution of certain drug traffickers — even those who have been involved in drug-related murders — has never been used, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.

Still, Sessions said in a previous statement that the Justice Department under the Trump administration will "continue to aggressively prosecute drug traffickers and we will use federal law to seek the death penalty wherever appropriate."

Here is Sessions' Wednesday memo:

The opioid epidemic has inflicted an unprecedented toll of addiction, suffering, and death on communities throughout our nation. Drug overdoses, including overdoses caused by the lethal substance fentanyl and its analogues, killed more than 64,000 Americans in 2016 and now rank as the leading cause of death for Americans under 50. In the face of all of this death, we cannot continue with business as usual.

Drug traffickers, transnational criminal organizations, and violent street gangs all contribute substantially to this scourge. To combat this deadly epidemic, federal prosecutors must consider every lawful tool at their disposal. This includes designating an opioid coordinator in every district, fully utilizing the data analysis of the Opioid Fraud and Abuse Detection Unit, as well as using criminal and civil remedies available under federal law to hold opioid manufacturers and distributors accountable for unlawful practices.

In addition, this should also include the pursuit of capital punishment in appropriate cases. Congress has passed several statutes that provide the Department with the ability to seek capital punishment for certain drug-related crimes. Among these are statutes that punish certain racketeering activities (18 U.S.C. § 1959); the use of a firearm resulting in death during a drug trafficking crime (18 U.S.C. § 924(j)); murder in furtherance of a continuing criminal enterprise (21 U.S.C. § 848(e)); and dealing in extremely large quantities of drugs (18 U.S.C. § 3591(b)(1)). I strongly encourage federal prosecutors to use these statutes, when appropriate, to aid in our continuing fight against drug trafficking and the destruction it causes in our nation.

Source: CNBC, Kevin Breuninger, March 21, 2018


⚑ | 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!



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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

After 21 Years on Death Row, Darlie Routier Still Says She's Innocent of Murdering Her Young Sons

Florida seeks death penalty for Miami mom whose baby died from scalding bath

Oklahoma: Death row inmate in Tulsa bank teller's murder found dead at state penitentiary

Alabama prison system sees steep rise in suicides

California: Jury recommends death penalty for serial killer

Kentucky Supreme Court rules death penalty IQ law is unconstitutional

Texas: White supremacist gang members sentenced to death for killing fellow supremacist inmate

Belarus: Unprecedented Supreme Court decision to suspend death sentences

North Carolina: Man’s mental condition, past cited in capital resentencing

Texas: Gustavo Tijerina-Sandoval formally sentenced to death for murder of Border Patrol agent