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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Iran: Two Juvenile Prisoners Executed

Two child executions have reportedly been carried out in Iran since the start of 2017

Iran Human Rights (JAN 28 2017): Two juvenile offenders were executed in Kerman (southeastern Iran) and Tabriz (northwestern Iran) prisons. This is in addition to the more than 70 people who have been executed since the beginning of 2017. Iran Human Rights calls for international reactions to the wave of executions and in particular juvenile executions in Iran.

"We want abolition of the death penalty, and as a first step abolition of the death penalty for all offences committed while under age of 18. We are calling on the international community, especially the United Nations and the European Union, to place abolition of the death penalty, in particilar the death penalty for juveniles, at the top of their talks with the Iranian authorities," says Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesperson of Iran Human Rights.

The Iranian authorities lead the world in the most executions of minors, despite the revisions made to the Islamic Penal Code and that child executions violate Iran's international obligations.

Arman Bahr Asemani - Convicted of murder at age 16


Iran Human Rights has received confirmation on the execution of a a juvenile prisoner who was convicted of murder at the age of 16.

"Arman Bahr Asemani, born February 10, 1997, convicted in November 2012 of murdering his cousin, was hanged on Sunday January 15, 2017 at Kerman's Shahab Prison," a close source tells Iran Human Rights.

"Bahr Asemani, who was 20 years old at the time of his execution, had also been condemned to 74 lashings on the charge of consumption of alcohol. Hs lawyer had attempted to argue that if [Arman] was drunk, then he should not have been charged with first degree murder, but the lawyer never got anywhere," says the close source.

Iranian official sources had announced an execution at Shahab Prison of a 23-year-old prisoner charged with murder; however, there was no mention of Bahr Asemani's execution.

Hassan Hassanzadeh - Convicted of murder at age 15


The human rights news agency HRANA reports on the execution of a juvenile prisoner at Tabriz Prison on Wednesday January 18. The prisoner, identified as Hassan Hassanzadeh, was reportedly around 15 years old when he was convicted of murder. He was reportedly jailed for about two and a half years before he was executed at the age of 18.

Source: Iran Human Rights, January 29, 2017

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