California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

Iran: Two Hanged in Southern Iran; Man Executed at Shiraz Prison

Iran execution
Iran Human Rights (IHR); November 26, 2019: Two prisoners were executed at the central prison of the southern Iranian city of Bandar Abbas on November 12.

According to Iran Human Rights sources, prisoners Jassem Heidari, 29, and Jamshid Torkashvand were executed for murder charges on Tuesday, November 12, 2019, at Bandar Abbas Central Prison.

“Jassem and Jamshid were in prison for three and four years respectively,” a well-informed source told IHR, “they were both sentenced to death for murder charges.”

Man Executed at Shiraz Prison

Iran Human Rights (IHR); November 26, 2019: A prisoner was executed at Shiraz prison for murder charges on November 17.

According to Iran Human Rights sources, prisoner Ebrahim Yar Hosseini was executed at Shiraz Central Prison (also known as Adel Abad prison) on the morning of Sunday, November 17.

“Ebrahim was arrested around four years ago for murdering a man. Ebrahim’s family were negotiating with the victim’s mother to win her consent. However, [it seems the negotiations were not fruitful and] he was transferred for the execution,” a well-informed source told IHR.

According to the Iranian Islamic Penal Code (IPC) murder is punishable by qisas which means “retribution in kind” or retaliation. 

In this way, the State effectively puts the responsibility of the death sentence for murder on the shoulders of the victim’s family. 

In qisas cases, the plaintiff has the possibility to forgive or demand diya (blood money). In many cases, the victim's family are encouraged to put the rope is around the prisoner's neck and even carry out the actual execution by pulling off the chair the prisoner is standing on.

Out of the 110 people who were executed in the first half of 2019, 83 were sentenced to qisas (retribution in-kind) for murder.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, November 26, 2019

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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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