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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…

Eight Prisoners Hanged in One Day in Iran's Rajai Shahr Prison

Public execution in Iran
Eight prisoners were hanged in one day in Rajai Shahr Prison while another prisoner at this prison is in imminent danger of execution.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 17 2017): On Wednesday August 16, eight prisoners were reportedly hanged at Karaj's Rajai Shahr Prison on murder charges. Another prisoner was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution.

According to close sources, the names of five of the eight prisoners executed are: Mostafa Bashkouh, Rasoul Gol Mohammadi, Shahram Abadeh, Seyed Mohammad Seyed Abdollah, and Moharram Abdi. 

These prisoners were transferred to solitary confinement on Monday in preparation for their executions. 

A juvenile offender by the name of Mehdi Bahlouli was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he was reportedly returned to his cell after the complainant on his case file postponed his execution. 

Another prisoner by the name of Majid Rahimi was also transferred to solitary confinement, but he received a three-month postponement on his execution from the complainant on his case file.

On Tuesday August 15, at least one prisoner in Rajai Shahr Prison was transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution. 

According to close sources, the prisoner's name is Sadegh Gholami and he is sentenced to death on the charge of possession of approximately one kilogram of crack.

"Sadegh Gholami was scheduled to be executed last year on drug related charges, but in order to delay his execution, he murdered one of his cellmates. The status of the new case file opened for him for the murder crime is uncertain right now. Sadegh is attempting to receive forgiveness from the complainant on his new case file in order to be spared from execution," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

Some prisoners on death row in Iran have been known to murder a cellmate or inflict self-injury in order to postpone their execution sentences.

Official Iranian sources, including the Judiciary and the state-run media, have not announced these eight executions.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 16, 2017


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