Iran: The death penalty is an inhumane punishment for death row prisoners, their families and society as a whole

"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…

Florida airport mass killer Esteban Santiago won't face death penalty

Esteban Santiago
An Iraq veteran accused of a deadly shooting rampage inside Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last year agreed Tuesday to plead guilty and serve a life sentence under a deal that would spare him a possible death sentence.

Five people were killed and six wounded in the rampage Jan. 6, 2017.

Esteban Santiago, 28, responded "Yes, your honor" when asked by Federal Judge Beth Bloom asked if he understood the proposed deal. Bloom ordered a mental evaluation to ensure Santiago is competent to make that decision, setting a hearing for May 23.

Santiago was charged with five counts of causing death at an international airport, six counts of airport violence resulting in serious injury, five counts of causing death during a violent crime and six counts of using a firearm during a violent crime, according to the indictment.

Convictions could have resulted in the death penalty, although no federal inmates have been executed since 2003.

Santiago flew from his home in Alaska to Florida on a one-way ticket on the day of the shooting, according to an indictment. His 9mm handgun was stored in a checked bag he retrieved from baggage claim and loaded in a nearby bathroom. Airport video shows him emerging and starting firing randomly until he ran out of ammunition and surrendered to a Broward County Sheriff's deputy.

The motive for the attack was murky. Santiago was briefly hospitalized for psychiatric care two months before the airport shooting after telling the FBI in Anchorage that he was hearing voices urging him to support the Islamic State terrorist group, The Miami Herald reported. He said the CIA was pressuring him to watch training videos. 

After the shooting, Santiago told authorities he had been "programmed" by the government and inspired by the Islamic State. In court Tuesday, lawyers for Santiago said he was remorseful and prepared to serve his prison time.

Prosecutors said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed off on the plea agreement and that shooting victims' family members supported the decision.

Source: USA Today, The Associated Press, May 1, 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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