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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: Seven Hanged in One Day

Iran Human Rights (MAR 6 2017): At least seven prisoners were executed in Iran on Saturday March 4.

Four prisoners, including two women, hanged at Rasht's central prison, Lakan, Gilan province, northern Iran


According to close sources, on the morning of Saturday March 4, four prisoners, including two women, were hanged at Rasht's central prison, Lakan. 

These four prisoners were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement before their executions. 

Three of these prisoners were sentenced to death on murder charges, but no information is available for the other prisoner. Only one of the prisoner names is known, Shah Mohammadi. 

A fifth prisoner was also transferred with them to solitary confinement, but was transferred back to the prison cell after receiving a postponement approval by the complainants on the case file.

Two prisoners hanged at Urmia's central prison, Darya, West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran


According to a report by the human rights new site, HRANA, on the morning of Saturday March 4, a prisoner was hanged at Shahroud Prison (Semnan province, northern Iran) on drug related charges. 

The prisoner has been identified as Ismael Arab Zamani, sentenced to death on the charge of possession and trafficking one kilogram and 800 grams of crystal meth.

Prisoner hanged at Shahroud Prison, Semnan province, northern Iran


According to another report by HRANA, at least two prisoners were hanged on the morning of Saturday March 4 in Urmia's central prison, Darya, on drug related charges. 

The prisoners have been identified as Naji Payam and Eshgh Ali (also known as Ashkan). The report suggests there may have been a third prisoner who was also executed along with Mr. Payam and Ali.

Iranian official sources, including the media and Judiciary, have not announced these executions.

Two Prisoners Executed on Murder Charges


Iran Human Rights (MAR 2 2017): On Tuesday February 28, two prisoners were reportedly hanged at Darya, Urmia's central prison (West Azerbaijan province, northwestern Iran), on murder charges.

According to the human rights nws agency HRANA, the prisoners have been identified as Ali Valizadeh and Afshin Shokati.

Mr. Valizadeh and Mr. Shokati along with two other prisoners, Anvar Ebrahimi and Morteza Bagherzadeh, were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Monday February 27 in prepation of their executions. 

According to HRANA, Mr. Ebrahimi and Mr. Bagherzadeh were not executed. Mr. Ebrahimi's life was reportedly spared after he was pardoned by the murder victim's family. It is not clear why Mr. Bagherzadeh's execution was not carried out.

Iranian official sources, including the media and Judiciary, have not announced the executions of Ali Valizadeh and Afshin Shokati.

Source: Iran Human Rights, March 2-6, 2017

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