Posts

Showing posts from February, 2024

FEATURED POST

NPR Investigation Reveals Supplier of Texas Execution Drugs Has Multiple DEA Violations; provided TDCJ with pentobarbital for more than 20 executions

Image
A July 10, 2024, National Public Radio (NPR) investigation has revealed that Rite Away, a small chain of pharmacies located around San Antonio and Austin, Texas, compounded and provided pentobarbital for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) between 2019 and late 2023 to carry out lethal injection executions. 

Nebraska | Opponents of death penalty decry proposal to use nitrogen gas for executions

Image
They claim it’s ‘untested, dangerous and inhumane,’ while a proponent calls it ‘painless’ and not subject to shortages LINCOLN — A proposal to use nitrogen gas to carry out executions in Nebraska brought out a parade of opponents to capital punishment on Wednesday. Opponents, ranging from the ACLU of Nebraska to the Nebraska Nurses Association, called using suffocation via nitrogen gas “untested, dangerous and explicitly inhumane” during a public hearing before the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee.

Christian minister says nitrogen execution he witnessed is slow, ‘spiritually violent’ torture

Image
As the Rev. Jeff Hood was leaving for work one day back in January, his children begged him for one thing: to come back alive. “The kids would cry and say they didn’t want me to die,” Rev. Hood told OSV News. The plea was well-founded: Rev. Hood, ordained in the Old Catholic Church (which separated from Rome after the First Vatican Council), was heading to the Jan. 25 execution of Alabama inmate Kenneth Smith — and the nitrogen gas by which Smith would be put to death entailed the possibility that Rev. Hood and the other witnesses could be at risk.

Things to know about Idaho's failed execution of serial killer Thomas Eugene Creech

Image
KUNA, Idaho (AP) — For nearly an hour, Thomas Eugene Creech lay strapped to a table in an Idaho execution chamber as medical team members poked and prodded at his arms and legs, hands and feet, trying to find a vein through which they could end his life. After eight attempts Wednesday, the prison warden told them to give up. Creech, a 73-year-old serial killer who has been in prison for half a century, was returned to his cell — for how much longer, no one knows.

Texas executes Ivan Cantu

Image
HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas man who had long claimed his conviction more than 20 years ago was based on false testimony and questionable evidence was executed Wednesday for fatally shooting two people, including his cousin. Ivan Cantu received a lethal injection and was pronounced dead at 6:47 p.m. at the state penitentiary in Huntsville for the November 2000 fatal shooting of his cousin, James Mosqueda, 27, and his cousin’s girlfriend, Amy Kitchen, 22. In final words from the execution chamber, the 50-year-old inmate said several times that he was innocent.

Idaho | Thomas Creech's execution canceled, IV line couldn't be established

Image
The execution of Thomas Creech scheduled for Wednesday morning was canceled at 11 a.m. Idaho Department of Correction director Josh Tewalt determined the execution could not happen because the medical team could not establish an IV line. Creech will return to his cell and the death warrant will expire, according to a news release from IDOC. The Federal Defender Services of Idaho emailed the following statement after the execution was canceled:

Death and Texas: Documentary takes a personal look at capital punishment

Image
Texans have long taken pride in the fact that their state is “like a whole other country,” but the truth is, in many ways, it’s like a whole other Louisiana. Both are deep red states that share a border with one another. Both share an unflagging love for their distinct culture, their culinary traditions and their often-underachieving football teams. And now, with the ascent of Jeff Landry to the Louisiana Governor’s Office, both also have chief executives committed to capital punishment.

Singapore | Bangladeshi national executed for murder

Image
SINGAPORE - A man who strangled his former fiancee in a budget hotel in Geylang in 2018 was hanged on Feb 28. The Singapore Police Force (SPF) said the capital sentence was carried out on Bangladeshi national Ahmed Salim, 35, who had petitioned to the President for clemency but was unsuccessful. This is the first judicial execution for murder in the Republic since 2019, a Singapore Prison Service (SPS) spokesman told The Straits Times on Feb 28, in response to queries. He added that it is the first execution in 2024.

USA | Biden backed off a pledge to abolish the federal death penalty. That’s left an opening for Trump

Image
WASHINGTON (AP) — As he prepared to take office three years ago, Joe Biden’s incoming administration considered a host of possible options to fulfill a campaign pledge to end the federal death penalty. One idea was an executive order, according to people familiar with the matter. But the White House did not issue one or push for legislation in Congress. Six months later, Attorney General Merrick Garland announced a moratorium on federal capital punishment to study the protocols used to execute people, a narrower action that has meant no executions under Biden. The Justice Department has since pushed for the death penalty against the suspects charged with mass shootings in Pittsburgh and Buffalo.

Saudi Arabia puts 7 men to death in largest execution in years

Image
State media says men were convicted by court which has been criticised for punishing activists and protesters under guise of terrorism Saudi Arabia has executed 31 people so far in 2024. Seven Saudi men were executed on Tuesday, the highest number put to death in one day since 81 were killed in March 2022.

Singapore | 35 year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker faces execution at dawn on 28 February

Image
Ahmed Salim, a 35 year-old Bangladeshi migrant worker, faces execution at dawn on 28 February, in Singapore’s Changi Prison. This is the first execution in 2024, despite growing calls for a moratorium on the death penalty. Ahmed Salim was sentenced to the mandatory death penalty in 2021 after being convicted of murder under Section 300A of the penal code. The person he killed was Yati, an Indonesian domestic worker who was his ex-girlfriend.

Bangladesh | From Gallows to Memoirs: Ex-Hangman's Redemption Journey Captivates Nation

Image
Delve into the extraordinary life of Shahjahan Bhuiyan, from executing death row convicts to penning his memoir 'How Was the Life of Hangman.' Explore his journey of redemption and reflection, challenging societal norms and sparking conversations on justice and rehabilitation. Imagine living a life bordered by the cold walls of a prison, where your job is to execute court orders, literally. This is not a storyline ripped from a grim novel, but the life of Shahjahan Bhuiyan, a former hangman turned author in Dhaka, Bangladesh. 

A new Louisiana capital-punishment bill would fundamentally alter physician licensing

Image
After the recent nitrogen gas execution in Alabama of Kenneth Smith, state Attorney General Steve Marshall said that nitrogen gas “was intended to be — and has now proved to be — an effective and humane method of execution.” It is hard to imagine a statement so obviously disconnected from facts. Eyewitness accounts described Smith’s death as a harrowing experience of dry heaving, thrashing, straining against leather straps, seizures, and terror. It took about a half-hour for Smith to die, although the state had previously predicted it would be over in minutes.

Idaho | Local faith leaders rally against death penalty ahead of Thomas Creech execution

Image
BOISE, Idaho — Idaho's longest-serving death row inmate is scheduled to be executed this week. Thomas Creech, 73, was sentenced to death for killing a fellow inmate inside a state prison in 1981. He has been convicted of five murders from several decades ago. Ahead of Wednesday's execution, local faith leaders are protesting the death penalty, calling for Creech to live out the rest of his life in prison.

Afghanistan | Taliban carry out another public execution

Image
The man was shot five times in front of the family of his victim at a sports stadium today. KABUL: Taliban authorities publicly executed a convicted murderer by gunfire in a sports stadium today, officials said, the third death penalty carried out in Afghanistan in a matter of days. The man – found guilty of a January 2022 knife murder – was executed in northern Sheberghan city on a death warrant signed by Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada, a Supreme Court statement said.

Iran | Man Executed in Hamedan over Drug Charges

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 22, 2024: Ahmad Esmaili, a man on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in Hamedan Central Prison. According to Hrana news agency, a man was executed in Hamedan Central Prison on 21 February. His identity has been reported as Ahmad Esmaili. He was arrested around five years ago and sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

Singapore | ‘Emotionally devastating’: Lawyers on the mental toll of defending those facing the death penalty

Image
SINGAPORE - Lawyer Too Xing Ji was in a taxi with a friend at dinnertime when he suddenly broke down in tears after sharing his experience of representing a prisoner on death row. This took place two weeks after Mr Too faced the Court of Appeal on May 23, 2019, and succeeded in getting a temporary reprieve for a drug courier on the eve of his scheduled execution.  The client is still on death row.

USA | Why an Emory physician built a second career as a death penalty expert

Image
After it intersected with his job as an anesthesiologist, Dr. Joel Zivot devoted years to studying the death penalty. Now, he's concerned about a new form of execution, nitrogen hypoxia, which was used in Alabama for the first time in January. Dr. Joel Zivot first began researching the death penalty 12 years ago when it suddenly affected his day job. As an anesthesiologist in the ICU at Emory University Hospital, Zivot frequently used the drug sodium thiopental. But in 2011, the drug disappeared from the market and caused a drastic shortage in ICUs across the country. When Zivot looked into the cause of the shortage, he found the drug was pulled by manufacturer Hospira after they couldn’t promise the European Union—who threatened to ban the export of lethal injection drugs—that sodium thiopental wasn’t used for executions. “I felt outraged that this drug I used to heal could also be involved in [lethal injection],” says Zivot.

Afghanistan | Taliban hold public execution for 2 men

Image
GHAZNI, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban carried out a double public execution Thursday at a stadium in the country’s southeast, where relatives of the victims of stabbing deaths fired guns at two convicted men while thousands of people watched. The Taliban’s Supreme Court ruled that the two men were responsible for the stabbing deaths of two victims in separate attacks, according to a court statement. It identified the two as Syed Jamal from central Wardak province and Gul Khan from Ghazni — though it was unclear who carried out the stabbings, the two convicted men or others.

Two people to be publicly executed by Taliban in eastern Afghanistan

Image
Taliban Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada last year ordered judges to fully implement all aspects of sharia -- including qisas punishment. GHAZNI: Two people were due to be publicly executed in a football stadium in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday, provincial officials said, in the third and fourth death penalties carried out since the Taliban returned to power. The Ghazni province information and culture department said in a public notice that the execution was a qisas punishment -- equating to "an eye-for-an-eye" -- but did not initially provide details on the prisoners or their crimes.

Texas | New Evidence Suggests Ivan Cantu’s Innocence, But Will Anyone Stop His Execution?

Image
Sister Helen Prejean is trying to keep Texas from killing death row inmate Ivan Cantu. Prejean, the famed death penalty opponent, joined MoveOn.org in a virtual meeting last week to plead for a delay in Cantu’s execution, scheduled for Feb. 28. “Even if you’re for the death penalty, you believe in fairness,” Prejean said. “There was no fairness at this trial. All we’re asking is to delay the execution of Ivan Cantu long enough to be able to have a hearing and an inquiry into the new evidence that’s been presented.”

Iran | Kurdish prisoner’s death penalty confirmed over Israel espionage charges

Image
Iran has sentenced to death 27-year-old Kurdish prisoner from Orumiyeh Shahin Vasaf on charges of espionage for Israel, a reliable source told Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN).  This is the first time a credible source confirms his death sentence, issued on 2 October 2023. Shahin Vasaf, along with another Kurdish citizen Naser Vasaf, was detained by the intelligence forces in Orumiyeh on 21 September 2022.

Alabama seeks to perform second execution using nitrogen hypoxia

Image
Alabama has asked the state's Supreme Court to approve a date for death row inmate Alan Eugene Miller's execution, which would be carried out using nitrogen hypoxia.  The request, filed Wednesday, comes just under a month after Alabama executed Kenneth Eugene Smith using nitrogen hypoxia, the first time the controversial and widely-contested death penalty method was used in the United States. Both Smith and Miller had initially been scheduled to die by lethal injection, but Smith's first execution attempt was botched and Miller's was called off.

Bills to expand death penalty, allow concealed guns without permits advance in Louisiana

Image
Debate centered around competing visions: whether to provide imprisoned people more second chances or to toughen their penalties. Family members of murder victims wept, lawmakers’ voices broke and advocates packed into committee rooms as the state Legislature advanced over a dozen bills backed by Gov. Jeff Landry that aim to toughen penalties for a slew of crimes. Those bills — which passed out of legislative committees Tuesday — seek to expand execution methods in the state to include by nitrogen gas and electrocution, toughen penalties for carjacking, put 17-year-olds in the adult justice system and let people carry concealed handguns without permits, among over a dozen others.

Biden said he opposed death penalty. Why do feds want to kill the Buffalo shooter?

Image
President Joseph Biden's stated opposition to the death penalty is running counter to his administration's decision on the fate of the racist who murdered 10 Black people in a Buffalo supermarket in 2022. "It's really out of synch with what Biden said during his campaign," said Karen Pita Loor, a clinical law professor at Boston University who has written of the Department of Justice's decision to seek the death penalty in another case.

Iran | Man Executed for Drug Charges in Urmia

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO): February 19, 2024: Iraj Paaki, a man sentenced to death for drug-related charges, was executed in Urmia Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a man was executed in Urmia Central Prison on 19 February. His identity has been established as 35-year-old Iraj Paaki from the Kouhsar region of Salmas. He was sentenced to death for drug-related charges by the Revolutionary Court.

As Ohio lawmakers consider executions with nitrogen gas, Governor keeps postponing execution dates

Image
COLUMBUS, Ohio — While some lawmakers are seeking to revive Ohio’s death penalty through the use of nitrogen gas, Gov. Mike DeWine is continuing the state’s de facto moratorium on executions by rescheduling execution dates well into the future. DeWine announced Friday that he pushed back the scheduled executions dates for convicted murderers Timothy L. Hoffner and John David Stumpf from later this year until 2027.

USA | First federal trial for a hate crime based on gender identity starts over trans woman's killing

Image
The first federal trial over a hate crime based on gender identity began Tuesday in South Carolina, where a man faces charges that he killed a Black transgender woman by shooting her three times in the head COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The first federal trial over a hate crime based on gender identity began Tuesday in South Carolina, where a man faces charges that he killed a Black transgender woman and then fled to New York. 

Death penalty expansions being considered in Louisiana

Image
BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana legislature convened for it's second special session Monday, with crime solutions at the forefront for lawmakers. Legislators are days away from deciding if the new execution methods will be legal with a bill filed by Republican state Rep. Nicholas Muscarello. One of the governor's top priorities is to add new methods for capital punishment. It's one of the issues Governor Jeff Landry campaigned on. 

China | Man executed for robbery and desecrating victim's corpse

Image
A man convicted of robbing a woman, murdering her, and desecrating her body has been executed, Beijing Youth Daily reported on Monday. The man, surnamed Zhang, was sentenced to death on charges of robbery, intentional homicide and corpse desecration as ruled by the Hubei Higher People's Court in 2022. The Supreme Court approved his death penalty after a review.

Idaho Passes New Bill Seeking Death Penalty for Sexual Acts With Children Under 12

Image
Idaho has passed a new bill that seeks capital punishment for child sex predators. The bill, known as HB 515, would carry out the death penalty for any conviction relating to sexual acts with children younger than 12 years old. Simultaneously, another bill, HB465, which would allow prosecutors to charge producers of child pornography using artificial intelligence (AI) with sexual exploitation, was passed alongside it.

Pakistan | Senate shoots down bill seeking public hanging of rapists, sex offenders

Image
“In Saudi Arabia, public executions are carried out. If we are Muslims, our stance should be correct. What is happening in the world is not important; what Islam says is important." ISLAMABAD: The upper house of parliament has rejected a bill seeking public execution of sex offenders and rapists as a deterrent against such heinous crimes. Senator Mushtaq Ahmad Khan of the JI introduced the bill during the Senate's farewell session, chaired by Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani on Monday.

USA | Prison Labor Could Be Fueling the Fast Food Industry

Image
An investigation by the Associated Press reveals major brands' ties to prison labor. Although The Takeout often writes about fun fast food promotions like purple Grimace shakes or footlong cookies , we also know that some aspects of the industry remain extremely problematic. In addition to various fast food franchises blatantly violating child labor laws in recent years, an investigation from The Associated Press has revealed some brands might also be unknowingly exploiting prison labor as well.

Iran | Second Woman Found to Have Been Executed in January

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 16, 2024: Hajar Atabaki, a woman on death row for drug-related charges, was executed in silence in Qazvin Central Prison in January. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, a woman was executed in Qazvin Central Prison on 20 January. Her identity has been established as 41-year-old Hajar Atabaki from Tabriz.

Iranian women are 'not afraid' to shed hijab on streets of Tehran report shows

Image
The punishment for not wearing a hijab is largely financial, although there are new systems to report women not complying with hijab rules to the morality police. Iranian women are refusing to comply with hijab rules in Iran, ABC News reported, as reporters recently conducted an investigation in Tehran. Not wearing a hijab is punishable by the Iranian morality police, who generally patrol the streets of Iran. 

Bangladesh | Madrasa teacher gets death penalty for raping 4 children; Court sentences 5 to death for murder

Image
The incidents took place in Chittagong in 2020 A Chittagong court has sentenced a madrasa teacher to death for raping four children of the institution. Judge Zainal Abedin of the Third Women and Children Repression Prevention Tribunal in Chittagong delivered the verdict in the presence of Nasir Uddin, 47, on Sunday. The convict was sent to jail after the verdict, the tribunal’s prosecutor, Ziku Barua, said.

Why Oklahoma’s tough-on-crime lawmakers no longer trust death penalty

Image
Inside the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Phillip Hancock has eaten his final meal. Fried chicken from KFC, no sides. It’s the last day of November. He’s due to be executed at 10 a.m.  Outside the prison known as Big Mac, 11 anti-death penalty protesters in puffy coats huddle in a circle to sing a hymn. Intermittent drizzle has snuffed out the early morning sun. A pair of cars pulls up near the penitentiary, which looks like a cross between a warehouse and a castle. The latecomers to the vigil are unlikely allies: two Republicans who favor tough law and order policies. 

Robert Badinter : L'exécution de Roger Bontems

Image
Robert Badinter (1928-2024), avocat pénaliste, professeur de droit, homme politique, ministre, était également un farouche opposant à la peine de mort.  Nommé garde des Sceaux (ministre de la Justice) à la suite de l'élection de François Mitterrand à la présidence de la République en mai 1981, il déploya une énergie considérable pour obtenir l'abolition de la peine capitale, votée par le Parlement français dès le mois de septembre 1981. En 1965, Robert Badinter et Jean-Denis Bredin fondèrent un cabinet d'avocats, au sein duquel il exerça jusqu'en 1981. Son combat idéologique, moral et philosophique contre la peine de mort prit une ampleur plus aiguë et plus militante après l'exécution de son client, Roger Bontems, le 28 novembre 1972.

Opponents of Alabama's nitrogen executions want nitrogen companies to withhold supply

Image
Alabama in late January became the first state to use nitrogen gas in an execution, finding a new way to carry out a death sentence after drug companies refused to let their products be used in lethal injections. Kenneth Eugene Smith, 58, was put to death Jan. 25 for the 1988 murder-for-hire killing of 45-year-old Elizabeth Sennett. State prison officials put a mask over his face, replacing the air he breathed with nitrogen gas and depriving him of oxygen.

First nitrogen execution was a ‘botched’ human experiment, Alabama lawsuit alleges

Image
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama death row inmate filed a lawsuit Thursday that challenges the constitutionality of nitrogen gas executions, arguing that the first person in the nation put to death by that method shook violently for several minutes in “a human experiment that officials botched miserably.” The lawsuit filed in federal court in Alabama alleges the January execution of Kenneth Eugene Smith by nitrogen gas was torturous and “cannot be allowed to be repeated.” 

Iran | Executions in Qom, Tabriz

Image
Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO); February 13, 2024: Abuzar Taher Arab, an Iraqi national on death row for murder, was executed in Qom Central Prison. According to information obtained by Iran Human Rights, an Iraqi national was executed in Qom Central Prison on 12 February. His identity has been established as 38-year-old Abuzar Taher Arab from Mosul.

Iran | 90 Inmates Await Execution in Zanjan Prison

Image
Ninety Iranians incarcerated in Zanjan Central Prison await execution on charges including drug trafficking, murder, armed robbery and rape, human rights groups have warned.  The Norway-based Iran Human Rights group said that the vast majority of them were sentenced to death for drug-related offenses. Four were convicted of rape.

Japan | Parents arrested over fatal poisoning, drugging of 4-year-old daughter in Tokyo

Image
TOKYO - Parents of a 4-year-old girl were arrested Wednesday for allegedly killing her with a toxic substance and antipsychotic drug at their home in Tokyo in March last year, police said. Kenichi Hosoya, 43, and his wife, Shiho, 37, were arrested after their daughter, Yoshiki, died from poisoning on March 13, with ethylene glycol and large amounts of olanzapine, a medicine prescribed for mental disorders, detected in her body, an investigative source said.

France | When Catholics pushed for abolishing the death penalty

Image
Even before France's National Assembly abolished capital punishment in 1981, the nation's Catholic bishops had already said the death penalty was incompatible with the Gospel France has paid tribute to Robert Badinter, the Socialist politician who began his term as the country's Minister of Justice (1981-86) fighting to end the death penalty. Badinter, who later became president of the Constitutional Court and then a senator, died on February 9 at age ninety-five . 

Idaho | Bill to allow death penalty for child rapists voted through to senate

Image
BOISE, Idaho — A bill that aims to make certain charges against children eligible for the death penalty moving forward at the Statehouse. I'm your Neighborhood Reporter Allie Triepke here at the Capitol where House lawmakers discussed House Bill 515, where they ultimately voted to send it to the Senate. "The most heinous, the kind that we don’t even want to speak on here,” said Republican Representative Bruce Skaug who sponsored House Bill 515, which even he acknowledged would be an unconstitutional law.

Last effort to save Ivan Cantu's life in Texas gains support from Martin Sheen, Sister Prejean

Image
In less than three weeks, the execution of Texas death row inmate Ivan Cantu is scheduled, but not without a fight with the help of Martin Sheen and Sister Helen Prejean and the public policy advocacy group MoveOn.  Sister Prejean and Sheen held a press conference on Monday, Feb. 12, to raise public awareness and civil action to stop his execution. In recent weeks, their determination to reach out to the public and celebrities has produced 60,000 signatures, 4,000 letters and hundreds of calls to Collin County District Attorney Greg Willis for a call to hear new evidence and hold a new trial in Cantu's case. 

‘Torturous’: Lawyer questions Missouri’s lethal injection protocol ahead of April execution

Image
Missouri executed four people in 2023. Amber McLaughlin, Michael Tisius, Johnny Johnson and Leonard Taylor, who maintained that he was innocent, all died by lethal injection. The state is one of five in the country that carried out executions last year. An attorney for a man scheduled to be executed in April says Missouri’s protocols present a “substantial risk of serious, torturous, physical and psychological pain.” 

Alabama | Marco Perez sentenced to death for killing Mobile police officer Sean Tuder

Image
MOBILE, Ala. — Marco Perez was sentenced Friday to be executed, a Mobile County jury decided on Friday, one day after convicting 24-year-old Perez of capital murder in the death of Mobile police officer Sean Tuder in 2019, WKRG reported. The jury voted 11-1 in favor of the death penalty. At 24, Perez now becomes the youngest person on Alabama’s death row, by six years.

USA | Voters divided over nitrogen gas executions

Image
Convicted killer Kenneth Eugene Smith's agonizing death on gurney left people wary of the new punishment, our first-of-its-kind poll reveals Voters are divided over the use of nitrogen gas in state executions, according to the first poll on the controversial method since it debuted in Alabama last month on convicted killer Kenneth Eugene Smith.

USA | The Fight for Richard Glossip’s Death Row Exoneration

Image
Countless cases lay bare the raw injustice of the death penalty in the United States. The case of Richard Glossip is certainly one of them. He’s been on Oklahoma’s death row since 1998, facing nine separate execution dates. He’s been given his final meal three times, and, in 2015, was saved from death just hours before his execution only after prison officials admitted they had ordered the wrong drug for their lethal cocktail. 

Iran sentences Kurdish cleric to death over protest support

Image
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region - A Kurdish cleric from the Kurdish city of Bukan in western Iran (Rojhelat) was sentenced to death on charges related to his support for the antigovernment protests that engulfed Iran in 2022 following the death of Mahsa Zhina Amini.  Mohammed Khezrnejad, 45, received the death penalty after being charged with “corruption on earth,” Hengaw Organization for Human Rights reported on Saturday. The verdict was announced by the Islamic Revolutionary Court in Urmia, West Azerbaijan province.