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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: Six executions in one day

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (Jun 18, 2018): Reports suggest that after the execution of Mohammad Salas, five other prisoners who were sentenced to death on murder charges were also hanged at Rajai Shahr Prison today. One of the prisoners was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita.

According to a close source, on the morning of Monday, June 18, six prisoners, including Mohammad Salas, were executed at Rajai Shahr Prison.

According to the official news agency of the Judiciary, Mizan, one of the prisoners who were executed today was charged with the murder of an eight-month-old baby named Benita Qal’enoiy during a car theft.

The state-run news agency, Javan, reported, “The defendant, Mohammad Vafaiy, stole a car that belonged to Benita Qal’enoiy’s father while the eight-month-old baby was in the back seat. Ultimately, he leaves the car in the street which leads to the baby’s death due to high temperature and lack of oxygen.”

The defendant said that he went to the police reported the incident a few hours later “but they didn’t pay any attention.”

Although the statements of the defendant were denied by the police spokesman, Tehran’s prosecutor confirmed that the location of the stolen car carrying Benita, was informed to the police and they “should have” found the car “earlier”.

A close source told IHR that the executions of Mohammad Vafaei and four other prisoners who were charged with murder were carried out an hour after Mohammad Salas’ execution. 

The four other prisoners have not been identified so far and the state-run media have not announced their execution.

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.

Source: Iran Human Rights, June 18, 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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