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

Ohio Black Churches and Legislative Black Caucus Join Push to Abolish the State’s Death Penalty

Building on what they describe as growing momentum to end capital punishment and greater awareness of racial justice concerns, a coalition of Ohio African-American church and legislative leaders are putting their weight behind bipartisan legislation to repeal the state’s death penalty.

In a May 18, 2021 press conference at the state capitol in Columbus, the Ohio Council of Churches and the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus called on the legislature to pass House Bill 183 and Senate Bill 103, death-penalty abolition bills that were introduced in February with sponsorship from both Republicans and Democrats. 

Linking the death penalty to historical patterns of racial oppression and lynching and emphasizing its continuing disproportionate impact upon communities of color, the Black Caucus announced that death penalty repeal legislation will be its top priority of the 2021–2022 legislative session.

Caucus Vice President State Rep. Juanita Brent (D) said that both bills are attracting increased support among Republicans but carry special significance for the Black community. “It’s disproportionately affecting African American communities,” Brent said. “This is not how we need to address and deal with justice.”

Brent criticized the death penalty as an ineffective public safety policy. “Death penalties are not deterring people from crimes, if it was like that then we would have no one doing crimes,” she said. “People having access to affordable housing, making sure people have access to public transit, jobs that pay a living wage. That’s what deters crime, not the death penalty.”

Rep. Stephanie Howse (D – Cleveland) emphasized how wrongful use of capital punishment has accentuated racial injustice. “The district I represent falls within Cuyahoga County, which has the appalling reputation for the second most wrongful death sentences in the nation,” Howse said. “Of the 6 innocent men that were sent to death row from Cleveland, five of them were Black. We can no longer ignore that Black lives are consistently devalued by a justice system that should idealize fairness and accuracy. I am proud to stand with my colleagues today as we call for an end to capital punishment in Ohio.”

Rev. Dr. Jack Sullivan, Jr., executive director of Ohio Council of Churches, called the death penalty “ethically bankrupt.” “Executions add fire to fire,” Sullivan said. “They exacerbate the cycle of death and force the state to surrender its moral and ethical high ground as it lives in a clear and present contradiction, saying on one hand how much it values lives while on the other hand canceling lives through executions.” Sullivan’s sister was murdered in 1997, and the crime remains unsolved. While he said he hopes for justice in his sister’s case, he does not support the death penalty. “Executions don’t show we’re tough on crime. They just show we are people who are capable of killing,” he said, “which puts us in the same orbit as those who are convicted of the crimes themselves.”

The effort to abolish Ohio’s death penalty comes at a time in which public sentiment is already moving away from the practice. The state has not carried out an execution since 2018, as a result of problems with its lethal-injection protocol, and Governor Mike DeWine has said he believes no executions will be carried out as long as the current protocol is in place. 

In January, the state banned the death penalty for people who were severely mentally ill at the time of the offense. That bill, the first of its kind in the nation, passed with strong bipartisan support, as well as the backing of mental health advocates. 

A poll conducted in fall 2020 found that a majority of Ohioans (51%) support replacing the death penalty with life without parole.

Source: deathpenaltyinfo.org, Staff, June 8, 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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