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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: 2 more Prisoners Hanged on Drug Charges

Public hanging in Iran
2 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Isfahan Central Prison and Kashmar Prison on drug related charges.

Close sources say one of the prisoners was hanged on the morning of Monday August 21 at Isfahan Central Prison. 

The prisoner's name is reportedly Abdolkarim Shahbakhsh and he was sentenced to death on drug related charges. Mr. Shahbakhsh was reportedly taken to solitary confinement on Saturday August 19 in preparation for his execution.

"Karim had no criminal record, but he was sentenced to death after being arrested and charged with 120 kilograms of heroin and 140 kilograms of opium," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

A report by the Kurdistan Human Rights Network says the other prisoner was executed on Sunday August 20 at Kashmar Prison (Razavi Khorasan province). 

The prisoner, who the report identifies as Mojtaba Heydari Abbasali, was reportedly sentenced to death on drug related charges, and transferred to solitary confinement on Saturday August 19 in preparation for his execution.

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and state-run media, have not mentioned these 2 executions.

Young Prisoner Hanged in Public


On the morning of Monday August 21, a young prisoner was hanged in public on murder and rape charges. 

The execution was carried out in the city of Nasrabad in Isfahan on the morning of Monday August 21. 

According a report by the state-run news agency, IMNA, the prisoner - which the report does not mention his name - was arrested on January 3, 2017 at the age of 25 for the charge of raping and murdering a 15-year-old teenage girl.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 23, 2017


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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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