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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty

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The following text is excerpted from  Death Row Diary , by William Van Poyck. William Van Poyck -- who maintained his innocence -- was executed by the state of Florida on June 12, 2013.  The 58-year-old, convicted of the 1987 murder of Glades Correctional Institution guard Fred Griffis outside a West Palm Beach doctor’s office, offered his views on everything from prison food to movies to the blood lust of politicians who support the death penalty via letters he posted online with the help of his sister.  After his conviction, Van Poyck, with a reform school education, authored three books, one of which won first-place honors in the memoir category in Writer’s Digest 2004 Self-Published Book Awards.  Locked up with what the courts have deemed the worst of the worst, Van Poyck opened the doors to a secret world few can imagine... The following piece is excerpted from William Van Poyck’s dispatches written during the last two years prior to his own execution. "Robert Waterhouse was

Iran | Two Secretly Executed in Shiraz

Iran Human Rights (IHR); September 29, 2021: Sohrab Naji and Vahab Samadi were executed in Shiraz Central Prison. Sobhrab was sentenced to death on drug-related charges and Vahab on murder charges.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Shiraz Central Prison on September 25. Their identities have been established as Sohrab Naji who was sentenced to death on drug-related charges and 44-year-old Vahab Samadi, who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.

Speaking to IHR, an informed source said: “Sohrab Naji was arrested and sentenced to death for 130 kilograms of narcotics in 2018. Vahab Samadi had killed his employer with a stone after he fired him.”

At the time of writing, neither of their executions have been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran, at least 25 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2020. However, at least 78 people have so far been executed on the same charge in 2021.

On May 3, IHR published a report on the death penalty in the first four months of 2021 expressing concern at the significant increase in the number of drug-related executions and continues to warn of the continuation of this trend.

According to Iran Human Rights’ Annual Report on the Death Penalty, at least 211 of the 267 people executed in 2020 were sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for "premeditated murder."

As there are no legal distinctions made between murder and manslaughter, whether voluntary or involuntary in Iran, those charged under the umbrella term of “premeditated murder” will receive the death penalty regardless of the intent and circumstances.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, September 29, 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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"And you're told it's time to die": A Personal Contribution to the 2021 World Day Against the Death Penalty