Texas | A Dangerous Man. At 18, Billy Joe Wardlow took a man’s life. Nearly 30 years later, the state still wants his.

Like any place humans gather, death row has a culture. Billy Wardlow says it's different in many ways from general population. One is in how new inmates are treated. "In [general population], the guys around you would try to find some way to exploit you," Wardlow said. "Death row, with a few exceptions, will often extend a hand of friendship to the 'new boot' so they can get on their feet ... Most of us get together and let each other know what we can send to the new guy."
One of the cherished myths of those who support the death penalty is that it is reserved for the “worst of the worst,” those beyond redemption.
Wardlow typically sends writing materials, food, clothes, and hygiene products. Recently, after receiving some of these items, a new inmate asked Wardlow what he owed him. "I told him to remember how guys helped him when he saw someone else new," Wardlow said. "Pay it forward, as the saying goes."
Sending gifts is one thin…

Iran Sentences Eight Protesters to Death

Iran protests
Eight protesters in Iran have been sentenced to death for “spreading corruption on earth,” in parallel with the confirmation of three other death sentences in Isfahan. The Chief Justice of Isfahan, Mohammad Reza Habibi, announced that “we will deal decisively with the puppets and the rioters.”

In announcing that the sentences would be finalized during Friday prayers, Habibi vowed that the actions of the protesters would not be repeated. The Chief Justice of Isfahan did not comment on the identities of the defendants and their charges, nor did he specify the reason for raising the issue during Friday prayers.

In the penal code of the Islamic Republic, the punishment for the accusation of “spreading corruption on earth” is the death penalty. Other judicial officials have not commented.

Confirmation of Death Sentences of Three People

Two days before the speech of the Chief Justice of Isfahan, the human rights website “HRAI” had announced the confirmation of the death sentences of three detainees of the November protests by the Supreme Court.

The news has not yet been confirmed or denied by any of the judicial authorities of the Islamic Republic, and the lawyers in the case of these three defendants have also been given the details of the case.

The initial sentences of Amir Hossein Moradi, Saeed Tamjidi, and Mohammad Rajabi, who were arrested in November last year, were handed down four months ago by the Branch 15 of the Revolutionary Court, presided over by Judge Salavati.

The Revolutionary Court sentenced the three to death, 38 years in prison, and 222 lashes for “complicity in destruction and incitement to confront the regime,” respectively.

Emad al-Din Baghi, director of the Association for the Defense of Prisoners’ Rights, said in an interview with reporters that there was no transparency in the Supreme Court. There were also news ambiguities about the number of detainees, and those who were killed in the November incidents.

Babak Paknia, a lawyer for the defendants in the case, told reporters that he was not allowed to interfere in the proceedings, and not allowed to go into the details of the case. He said that these cases were not registered at all.

“However, I cannot say whether the death sentences of the three were upheld. I wish they could at least give this access to the lawyers of the case so that we can publish reliable and documented news of the case.” Amir Hossein Moradi and Mohammad Rajabi are both 25 years old and have diplomas. Saeed Tamjidi is 27 years old and a student in electrical engineering.

“Political” Sentences

Shirin Ebadi, a lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, wrote in a note on her Telegram channel that the verdicts were “political,” and wrote: “And the accused and the lawyer can’t get anywhere, it’s not the court, it’s the butcher’s house, not the court.”

The news of the trial in Iran has been highlighted, while the officials of the Islamic Republic have not yet announced the number of people killed in the November protests. 

In early January 1998, Reuters quoted four Iranian officials as saying that 1,500 people had been killed and that the crackdown on protesters had been ordered by the Islamic Republic’s Supreme Leader.

Source: communalnews.com, Joyce Davis, June 27, 2020

Iranian Workers Sentenced to Prison and Flogging for Demanding Overdue Wages

A court in Iran has sentenced 42 workers of the Azarab factory, to lashes and prison for participating labor protests to demand months of unpaid wages.

The workers are from AzarAb Industries in Arak, a large manufacturing and construction company located in the western province of Markazi.

The state-run ILNA News Agency reported Wednesday that the 106th Branch of the Arak Criminal Court has sentenced each of the workers to 74 lashes and one month of free public service for three hours on the railway in Arak.

The state-run media said that the sentence can be appealed.

In the court ruling all the workers that protested against not receiving their basic demands and salaries, are charged with “disrupting public order by creating noise and controversy and blocking the streets and railways, and chanting slogans against officials.”

These workers had participated in a protest last year to demand their unpaid wages and an end to the company’s privatization.

In October 2019, Azarab workers who had been on strike were viciously beaten by riot police on October 20. Several people were injured and taken to hospital but discharged themselves for fear of being arrested.

Around 40 AzarAb workers were arrested and beaten during the peaceful demonstration.

Workers were demanding payment of overdue wages and a return to state-ownership of the industrial manufacturing company that constructs power and petrochemical plants.

Source: iran-hrm.com, Staff, June 25, 2020

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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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