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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: A Qisas Execution and a Potential Pardon on the Same Day

Public execution, Iran
Iran Human Rights (July 1, 2018): A prisoner was executed at Northern Iranian city of Rasht's Central Prison on murder charges. 

Hossein Esmailpour, charged with murdering a prominent clergyman in Rasht, was scheduled for execution on the same day. 

However, just some seconds before the execution, the plaintiffs asked for one month time to think more whether they really want the Qisas (retaliation in kind) to be carried out or they will select forgiveness. 

According to a close source, on the morning of Saturday, June 30, a prisoner was executed at Rasht Central Prison. 

The prisoner, sentenced to death on the charge of murder, was identified as Ali Arezumand.

A close source told IHR, “Ali Arezumand was charged with murdering his wife with a sickle four years ago.”

Meanwhile, Hossein Esmailpour, another prisoner who was also supposed to be executed on Saturday, was able to ask for time from the plaintiffs.

Hossein Esmailpour was a student at a religious school. He is convicted of murdering Fakhri Langaroudi with the complicity of two of his friends in September 2014.

One of Hossein Esmailpour’s relatives told IHR, “We are very grateful to the Fakhris, especially Haj Ne’mat Fakhri, who gave Hossein another chance. Haj Ne’mat Fakhri was able to convince his family to give Hossein another chance at the last moment. We hope for the day when the Fakhris forgive Hossein.”


The execution of Ali Arezumand has not been announced by the state-run media so far.

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, July 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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