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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: Two Executions in Urmia

Public execution in Iran
Iran Human Rights (Jul 4, 2018): Two prisoners were executed at Urmia Central Prison.

According to close sources, on the morning of Wednesday, July 4, two prisoners, sentenced to Qisas, were executed at Urmia central Prison. 

It should be noted that three prisoners were scheduled to be executed today, but one of them was able to win the consent of the plaintiffs at the last moment.

The execution of these prisoners 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.

Considering the fact that the number of drug-related executions has been reduced in recent months due to the enforcement of the new drug law in 2018, most of the executed prisoners were those sentenced to Qisas (retribution in kind). 

Source: Iran Human Rights, July 5, 2018


Iran reduces death penalty, life sentence against 1700 drug convicts


Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, the Tehran prosecutor general, announced on Tuesday that 1,700 sentences of narcotic-related cases have been commuted from capital punishment and life sentence to less severe forms of punishment.

The change in the law on narcotics-related punishments have revolutionized the country's policies in fighting against narcotics, Jafari-Dolatabadi told a meeting on social harms caused by narcotics, IRNA reported.

He further said out of 3000 requests made to commute narcotics-related sentences, 1700 have been reviewed and 1300 remain to be reviewed very soon.

Source: Tehran Times, July 4, 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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