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As Trial in South Carolina Execution-Method Challenge Begins, Review of State’s Death Penalty Reveals System that is Biased, Arbitrary, and Error-Prone

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As the trial challenging South Carolina’s execution methods began on August 1, 2022, a review of the state’s death penalty by the Greenville News revealed a pattern of discrimination, geographic arbitrariness, and high error rates in the implementation of the punishment.  In a two-part examination, reporter Kathryn Casteel analyzed racial and county demographics on death row, reversal rates in capital cases, and the timing of death sentences to provide context for the state’s efforts to institute the electric chair and firing squad as its primary execution methods. RELATED |  Future of South Carolina death penalty now rests with judge Four of South Carolina’s 35 death-row prisoners are suing the state to block a law that would force them to choose between electrocution and firing squad as methods of execution. One of the men, Richard Moore, wrote in an April legal filing, “I believe this election is forcing me to choose between two unconstitutional methods of execution.” Executions ar

Iran | 2 Executed in Birjand, Man Hanged in Yazd, Man Executed in Boroujed, 2 Hanged in Isfahan, Man Executed in Tabriz

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 21, 2022: Zabiollah Barahouyi and Abdolvahed Ghanbarzehi, two Baluch men sentenced to death for drug-related charges, have been executed in Birjand Central Prison.

According to Hal Vash, two Baluch men were executed in Birjand Central Prison on July 21. Their identities have been reported as 38-year-old Zabiollah Barahouyi and 41-year-old Abdolvahed Ghanbarzehi. They were both sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Zabiollah Barahouyi was a father of five children from the village of Loutak in Zabol. Abdolvahed Ghanbarzehi was also a father of five and lived in Zahedan. They were arrested in separate cases in 2019.

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

At least 251 including 6 women and 67 Baluch minorities were executed in the first six months of 2022. This is double the number of executions in the same period in 2021 when 117 people were executed.

Baluch Heydar Heybozadeh Executed for Murder Despite Alibi


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 21, 2022: Heydar Heybozadeh, a Baluch man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Yazd Central Prison. There is no information about the fate of Amir Ojaghi who had also been transferred for execution.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a Baluch man was executed in Yazd Central Prison on July 21. His identity has been established as 29-year-old Heydar Heybozadeh who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder. He was a father of one and was transferred for execution from Ward 3 of Yazd Central Prison.

An informed source previously told Iran Human Rights: “Heydar Heybozadeh was arrested for the murder of a ranger around seven years ago. He denied the murder in court and said he wasn’t even at the location when the murder took place.”

Another prisoner named Amir Ojaghi, a Kermanshah native who was sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was transferred to solitary confinement along with Heydar but there is no information available about his fate at the time of writing.

According to Hal Vash which first reported news of Heydar Heybozadeh’s execution, he was in another city with his family at the time of the murder. His family were also arrested and detained at the time of his arrest.

At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021. Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

At least 251 including 6 women and 67 Baluch minorities were executed in the first six months of 2022. This is double the number of executions in the same period in 2021 when 117 people were executed.

Peyman Goudarzi Executed for Murder in Boroujerd


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 21, 2022: Peyman Goudarzi, a man sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder, was executed in Boroujerd Prison.

According to Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Boroujerd Prison on July 11. His identity has been established as 27-year-old Peyman Goudarzi who was sentenced to qisas for murder.

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Peyman Goudarzi was executed after two years behind bars. He had committed the murder over financial disputes in 2018. The victim’s family had promised to forgo retribution but changed their minds two weeks before the execution. They said they don’t want diya and demanded execution.”

At the time of writing, his execution has not been reported by domestic media or officials in Iran.

According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021. Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

Mahmoud Sadeghi and Dariush Khazayi Executed for Drug Offences in Isfahan


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 20, 2022: Mahmoud Sadeghi and Dariush Khazayi, a Baluch minority, were executed for drug-related charges in Isfahan Central Prison.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Isfahan Central Prison on July 20. Their identities have been established as 30-year-old Mahmoud Sadeghi (pictured) and 57-year-old Dariush Khazayi.

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Mahmoud Sadeghi had been detained in Ward 4 of the prison. He was a taxi driver prior to arrest and had been arrested on charges of carrying 100 kilograms of drugs in 2018 and sentenced to death. He was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution last year and held there for four days but his execution wasn’t carried out for unknown reasons and he was returned to his cell. He was transferred for execution again two months ago and returned again.”

Mahmoud Sadeghi was a father of two and from the village of Mohammadieh Falavarjan.

“Dariush Khazayi was from Zabol and had been arrested for drug charges in 2018 and sentenced to death.”

According to Hal Vash which first reported news of the executions, Mahmoud and Dariush’s families had paid their last visits the day prior to their executions.

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

According to reports compiled by Iran Human Rights, at least 126 people were executed on drug-related charges in 2021, a fivefold increase compared to drug executions in the previous three years. This trend has continued into 2022, with 91 executions recorded in the first six months of 2022, double the number for the same period in 2021 when 40 people were executed.

Unnamed Man Executed for Murder in Tabriz


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 20, 2022: Official sources have reported the execution of an unnamed man for murder in Tabriz Central Prison.

According to Rokna, a man was executed in Tabriz Central Prison on July 6. The unnamed 36-year-old man was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder.

The report states that the executed man had been convicted of murdering a woman. His sentence was carried out after the diya difference was paid from a public fund on account of the victim being a woman and her life being worth half of a man’s.

According to data gathered by Iran Human Rights, at least 183 people were executed on murder charges in 2021. Those charged with the umbrella term of “intentional murder” are sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) regardless of intent or circumstances due to a lack of grading in law. Once a defendant has been convicted, the victim’s family are required to choose between death as retribution, diya (blood money) or forgiveness.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, July 20-21, 2022





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