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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 | 3 Executions in Isfahan, Man Hanged in Shiraz, Woman Executed in Urmia, Child Bride Executed in Sanandaj

Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 27, 2022: Gholam Nourzehi, a Baluch man, Afghan-national Jomeh Barakzehi and Mohammad Izadi were executed in Isfahan Central Prison.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, two men were executed in Isfahan Central Prison on July 26. Their identities have been established as 40-year-old Gholam Nourzehi, a Baluch man living in Isfahan and 38-year-old Jomeh Barakzehi, an Afghan national who were sentenced to death for drug-related charges in the same case.

Hal Vash which first reported their executions writes that they were arrested in Isfahan as part of the same case three years and detained in Isfahan Central Prison since.

Hal Vash has also reported the execution of another man at the prison on July 25. His identity has been reported as 35-year-old Mohammad Izadi who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for murder after being arrested five years ago.

At the time of writing, none 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.

Pakistani-Baluch Cleric, Sarajolhagh Sedighi Executed in Shiraz


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 27, 2022: Sarajolhagh Sedighi, a Pakistani national who was sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for “participation in murder,” was executed in Shiraz Central Prison.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a Pakistani man was executed in Shiraz Central Prison on July 24. His identity has been established as 45-year-old Sarajolhagh Sedighi who was sentenced to qisas for “participation in murder.”

An informed source told Iran Human Rights: “Sarajolhagh Sedighi was transferred to Shiraz Central Prison for his execution from Pirbano Prison. They transferred his body to Pakistan by land yesterday.”

According to Hal Vash which first reported his execution, Sarajolhagh was a Sunni cleric from the Baluchistan region of Pakistan and had been in prison since his arrest in 2017.

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.

Faranak Beheshti Second Woman Executed in Iran Today


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 27, 2022: Faranak Beheshti who was transferred to solitary confinement yesterday, was executed for murder in Urmia Central Prison today.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a woman was executed in Urmia Central Prison on July 27. Her identity has been established as Faranak Beheshti.

According to informed sources, Faranak was arrested around five years ago and sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder of her husband.

Several other men were reported to have been transferred to the gallows with Faranak yesterday.

According to Iran Human Rights’ report on Women and Death Penalty in Iran on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty, at least 164 women were executed between 2010-October 2021. Of those, six were child brides and one woman (Safieh Ghafouri), was an aroose-khoon-bas, a bride offered by one tribe to the opposing tribe to stop the bloodshed.

Within the marriage itself, a woman does not have the right to divorce, even in cases of domestic violence and abuse, which are hidden in cultural codes and language. In 66% of the known murder cases, the women were convicted of killing their husband or partner.

At the time of writing, her 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.

Child Bride Soheila Abedi Executed in Sanandaj


Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); July 27, 2022: Child bride Soheila Abedi was executed for murder in Sanandaj Central Prison today.

According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a woman was executed in Sanandaj Central Prison on July 27. Her identity has been established as Soheila Abedi, a child bride sentenced to qisas (retribution-in-kind) for the murder of her husband by Branch One of the Sanandaj Criminal Court on 26 January 2015.

The court cited the reason for the murder as “family disputes.” According to informed sources, Soheila was a child bride married at 15 and had committed the murder ten years later.

According to Iran Human Rights’ report on Women and Death Penalty in Iran on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty, at least 164 women were executed between 2010-October 2021. Of those, six were child brides and one woman (Safieh Ghafouri), was an aroose-khoon-bas, a bride offered by one tribe to the opposing tribe to stop the bloodshed.

Within the marriage itself, a woman does not have the right to divorce, even in cases of domestic violence and abuse, which are hidden in cultural codes and language. In 66% of the known murder cases, the women were convicted of killing their husband or partner.

Soheila's case had previously been sent for implementation in October 2021 after her husband's family refused to forgo retribution.

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

Source: Iran Human Rights, Staff, July 27, 2022





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