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Pope Declares Death Penalty Inadmissible in All Cases

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ROME — Pope Francis has declared the death penalty inadmissible in all cases because it is “an attack” on the “dignity of the person,” the Vatican announced on Thursday, in a definitive shift in Roman Catholic teaching that could put enormous pressure on lawmakers and politicians around the world.
Francis, who has spoken out against capital punishment before — including in 2015 in an address to Congress — added the change to the Catechism, the collection of beliefs for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.
The revision says the church would work “with determination” for the abolition of capital punishment worldwide.
“I think this will be a big deal for the future of the death penalty in the world,” said John Thavis, a Vatican expert and author. “People who work with prisoners on death row will be thrilled, and I think this will become a banner social justice issue for the church,” he added.
Sergio D’Elia, the secretary of Hands Off Cain, an association that works to abolish capital puni…

Iran: Judge who issued death penalty for Reyhaneh Jabbari chosen as trusted attorney

Reyhaneh Jabbari
Hassan Tardast, the judge who issued the death penalty for Reyhaneh Jabbari, was introduced as a trusted lawyer to undertake the cases of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.

The Iranian Chief Justice has endorsed a list of 20 lawyers as trusted defense attorneys to represent political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in their court trials. 

According to this extrajudicial measure, from now on, only these 20 lawyers are permitted to defend cases involving political and security charges.

Independent lawyers not backed by the government, female lawyers, directors of the lawyers’ guild of Tehran and human rights lawyers have not been included in this list. 

The latest measure by the Iranian Judiciary thus deprives political prisoners and prisoners of conscience from the right to choose their own lawyers and access to justice and fair trials.

Hassan Tardast has presided over a number of controversial cases including the case of Reyhaneh Jabbari, as a judge. He has issued some 800 retribution verdicts (death penalties), many of which contained ambiguities.

Reyhaneh Jabbari, 26, was hanged in Gohardasht Prison, in Karaj, after seven years of imprisonment on October 25, 2014, for defending herself against rape by a senior Intelligence Ministry official.

Other so-called attorneys on the list have similar criminal backgrounds. For example, Abdolreza Mohebbati, represented Saeed Mortazavi, the notorious Public Prosecutor of Tehran, in court during the trials of political activists and protesters arrested during the 2009 anti-government uprising in Iran.

Source: NCRI Women Committee, June 9, 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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