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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

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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