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

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 | At Least 45 Iranians Were Executed In Past Month, One In Public

At least 45 people were executed in Iran during the previous month, and a political prisoner also received a death sentence.

According to a report by the United States-based Human Rights Activists' News Agency (HRANA) on Saturday, the executions were carried out in several prisons across Iran, including Gohardasht Prison – also known as Rajai-Shahr in Karaj, Borujerd, Birjand, Yazd, and Esfahan.

In Rajai-Shahr prison, at least 18 prisoners were executed, 10 in one day before another eight a week earlier.

The report added that a political prisoner in Orumiyeh (Urmia) prison, identified as Shaker Behrouz, was sentenced to death by Branch 1 of the city’s Revolutionary Court and several other prisoners, including a woman, were also sentenced to death on charges of murder.

In addition to the 45, Iran on Saturday carried out its first public execution in over two years in an eye-for-eye move, called ‘qisas’ according to Quranic principles. 

Iman Sabzikar, who had been convicted over the murder of a police officer in February 2022 in the southern city of Shiraz, was hanged in the early morning at the scene of the crime.

On June 16, UN Secretary General António Guterres released a report on the situation of human rights in Iran, decrying “the high number of death penalty sentences and executions” and “reports of death in prison due to denial of adequate and timely medical care.”

The UN chief said that the number of executions in Iran increased from at least 260 cases in 2020 to 310 individuals in 2021, and the number continued to rise into 2022.

Source: iranintl.com, Staff, July 24, 2022

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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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