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

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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 Supreme Court Upholds 4-Finger Amputations for Four Inmates in Urmia

Public hand amputation in Iran (file photo)
‌The Iranian Supreme Court upheld a ruling for cutting the four fingers of the right hands of four men in the Central Prison of Urmia, capital of West Azerbaijan Province.

Three of the convicted prisoners are Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharifian and Mehdi Shahivand, whose sentences have been passed on to the Office for the Implementation of Verdicts of the Justice Department of Urmia.

The ruling of Branch 13 of the Iranian Supreme Court was issued on May 2, 2020, but the convicts were informed of their sentence just last week. 

According to the verdict handed down by Ali Shushtari, the primary ruling by the First Branch of the First Penal Court of West Azerbaijan for Juveniles and Children fully complied with the legal conditions for inflicting the sentence stipulated in Article 268 of the Islamic Punishment Law. 

The Supreme Court branch rejected the convicts’ appeal and finalized the ruling.

The three individuals were convicted in a joint case on November 19, 2019. 

Based on Article 278 of the Islamic Punishment Law, the four fingers of their right hands will be cut off for four counts of robbery. 

The fingers must be cut off from the bottom leaving only the palm and the thumb. According to Article 667 of the same law, they were also ordered to return the stolen goods.

The Supreme Court had earlier upheld a similar ruling for Kasra Karami from Kermanshah who is also detained in the Prison of Urmia. 

This verdict has also been directed to the Implementation Office to be carried out.

The court ruling on March 27, 2017, condemned Kasra Karami on the charge of robbery, sentencing him to the cutting off of four fingers of the right hand and reimbursement of the stolen money and property.

Hadi Rostami, Mehdi Sharifian, Mehdi Shahivand and Kasra Karami announced that they had been made to confess under torture.

Hadi Rostami cut his wrist in protest of upholding of his sentence. He is presently kept in the dispensary of the Central Prison of Urmia in dire health condition.

Amputation of limbs is considered an inhuman punishment banned by international conventions on torture and civil and political rights.

Source: iran-hrm.com, Staff, June 26, 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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