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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Iran: Two executed on murder charges

Public execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights (Apr 6, 2018): A prisoner was hanged at Maragheh Prison on murder charges in March.

According to a close source, on the morning of Sunday, March 4, a prisoner was hanged at Maragheh Prison. The prisoner, identified as Jalil Khademi, was sentenced to death on murder charges.

Jalil Khademi, who was from Marand city in East Azerbaijan Province, was arrested in 2014 and had been held in prison ever since. 

A close source told IHR, “Jalil murdered a man named Khosro Asghari over financial disputes. He had not been able to win the consent of the plaintiff.”

It should be noted that the execution of this prisoner has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 240 of the 517 execution sentences in 2017 were implemented due to murder charges. 

There is a lack of a classification of murder by degree in Iran which results in issuing a death sentence for any kind of murder regardless of intensity and intent.

Man charged with murdering 3-year-old boy executed


Iran Human Rights (April 10, 2018): A man who was charged with murdering a 3-year-old boy was hanged at Rasht Central Prison.

According to ISNA, on the morning of Tuesday, April 10, a man who was charged with murdering a 3-year-old boy, named Ahoura, was hanged at Rasht Central Prison.

The murderer was earlier identified by the media as Meysam, 27. He was charged with physical harassment of a 3-year-old boy which led to his death on October 14, 2017. The forensics announced that the cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage.

Branch 3 of the Criminal Court of Guilan sentenced Meysam to death on December 7, 2017 which was approved by the Supreme Court on January 23, 2018.

According to Iran Human Rights annual report on the death penalty, 240 of the 517 execution sentences in 2017 were implemented due to murder charges. 

Source: Iran Human Rights, April 12, 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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