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

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 to Execute Kurdish Man, After Tricking His Sick Father Into Maligning Him

Public hanging, Iran
The brother of an Iranian Kurdish man on death row in Iran for belonging to a Kurdish nationalist group said yesterday that his brother had just hours to live.

Amjad Hossein Panahi, who lives in Germany, said that his brother Ramin had been moved to death row in a prison in Sanandaj and had confided in his defence lawyer Hossein Ahmadiniaz on Thursday that he expected to be executed later that day. 

Ahmadiniaz then gave the sad news to Ramin's family.

Amjad Panahi said that prison authorities had already told family members that they intended to execute Ramin ahead before the 1st anniversary of his arrest (June 23).

Pressuring Alzheimer's sufferers

Amjad Panahi posted a video on Twitter yesterday, showing his parents expressing despair about Ramin's fate, in which his father, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease, explains that the Iranian authorities recently kidnapped him and pressured him into making critical comments about Ramin on film.

The father said: "I'm old and miserable and did not understand what was going on. We are waiting for our son, please help us."


Sanandaj residents have also taken pictures and videos showcasing a heavier-than-usual security presence on Wednesday and Thursday, probably to quell any protests over Ramin's execution.

Ramin was granted a reprieve from execution last month and taken off death row, following an international social media campaign for annulling his death sentence by human rights activists, but as many feared, the Iranian Regime was only delaying the execution until the Islamic holy month of Ramadan ended last week.

2017 Arrest

Ramin was arrested in 2017 for belonging to Kurdish nationalist group Komala and allegedly drawing a weapon against Iranian security forces when they raided the region. 

In January, the Revolutionary court sentenced him to death.

Amjad Panahi reported that Ramin had denied on Thursday harming any members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

There is also charges from Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, that Ramin received an unfair trial, torture, and other mistreatment whilst in prison, all of which are common under the Iranian Regime.

Regime change

Unfortunately, the Iranian Regime will not change their ways. They've had almost 40 years to improve their human rights record and they have done nothing about it. Thus, the only option left is what the Iranian people are advocating for: regime change.

This will be a central topic at the Free Iran gathering in Paris on June 30.

Source: NCRI, June 22, 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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