Iran | Death Penalty According to Shariah Law

Chapter III of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran contains provisions related to the rights of the people.  In this Chapter, Article 22 states: “The dignity, life, property, rights, domicile, and occupations of people may not be violated, unless sanctioned by law.” However, the number of crimes punishable by death in Iran is among the highest in the world. Charges such as “adultery, incest, rape, sodomy, insulting the Prophet Mohammad and other great Prophets, possessing or selling illicit drugs, theft and alcohol consumption for the 4th time, premeditated murder, moharebeh (waging war against God), efsad-fil-arz (corruption on earth), baghy (armed rebellion), fraud and human trafficking” are capital offences.[1] Many of the charges punishable by death cannot be considered as “most serious crimes” and do not meet the ICCPR standards.[2] Murder, drug possession and trafficking, rape/sexual assault, moharebeh and efsad-fil-arz and baghy are the most common charges resulting

Texas | Judge allows new DNA testing for death-row inmate Ruben Gutierrez

March 31 (UPI) -- A federal judge has ruled in favor of a Texas death row inmate seeking new DNA testing to prove his innocence.

U.S. District Judge Hilda Tagle for the Southern District of Texas said Ruben Gutierrez, 43, is entitled to have fingernail scrapings from the victim tested. 

She said the Texas statute that guarantees the DNA testing of materials was unconstitutionally applied in the case.

The state appealed the ruling.

Gutierrez's attorney welcomed the judge's decision, which he said will determine the person who killed trailer park owner Escolastica Harrison in 1998.

"Louis Saenz, the district attorney in Brownsville, has repeatedly refused our requests for access to this material without explanation," lawyer Shawn Nolan said in a statement Wednesday. "If he is so sure that Mr. Gutierrez's conviction and death sentence are sound and that Mr. Gutierrez deserves to die, there can be no reason to continue to refuse our reasonable requests for this testing, which would be done automatically by law if this case happened today."

Authorities said Gutierrez knew Harrison through her nephew and worked together with accomplices Pedro Garcia and Rene Garcia to rob her of about $600,000 in cash she had stashed in her home. 

An autopsy showed Harrison had been beaten and stabbed 13 times with two screwdrivers.

Gutierrez said he helped organize the robbery, but didn't take part in the murder and DNA testing would absolve him.

The Supreme Court granted a last-minute stay of execution to Gutierrez in June in response to his challenge of Texas' policy preventing clergy from entering the death chamber.

Source: UPI, Danielle Haynes, March 31, 2021

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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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