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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…

State appeals court affirms jailing of Mennonite who won’t testify in death penalty case

Greta Lindecrantz
The Colorado Court of Appeals on Friday affirmed a contempt of court ruling, thereby keeping a Mennonite investigator, who is refusing to testify in a death penalty case, in jail.

The judges listened to arguments for about an hour from attorneys representing Greta Lindecrantz, the 67-year-old who has been in jail since Monday for contempt of court, and Arapahoe County District Judge Michelle Amico, who sent her there.

The three-judge panel did not make an immediate decision, although Presiding Judge Jerry Jones said they would consider the case carefully and quickly.  He opened the hearing by saying, “We are acutely aware this is a very serious matter.”

Later in the day,  the panel affirmed the ruling.

“Ms. Lindecrantz is in a tough spot — caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place. We take no pleasure in declining to extricate her. But the state of the law being what it is, decline we must,” Judge Jones said in the ruling. Judges Robert D. Hawthorne and Diana Terry concurred.

“I am obviously disappointed,” said Mari Newman, Lindecrantz’s attorney. “The court had no interest in finding a way for her to testify without abandoning her religious beliefs.”

Lindecrantz was called to testify by the 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office in an appeals hearing being held for Robert Ray, a man sentenced to death in 2009 for a murder-for-hire plot to kill two witnesses in another murder case. The appeals hearing, which is mandatory, is challenging the work done by his original defense team, and Lindecrantz served as an investigator on that team.

She has said that testifying on behalf of the prosecution would put her at odds with her Mennonite faith, which is opposed to the death penalty.

A lawyer representing Amico told the appeals court that allowing someone to refuse to participate in a criminal proceeding because of religious beliefs would cause disarray in the courts.

“Ms. Lindecrantz’s position has opened a Pandora’s Box,” said Matthew Grove, assistant solicitor general.

Newman had asked the court if her client could take the stand as a court-sponsored witness, rather than one for the prosecution.

Source: The Denver Post, N. Phillips, K. Nicholson, March 2, 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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