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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: 3 Prisoners Hanged in Qom

Public execution in Iran
They were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence.

3 prisoners were reportedly hanged at Qom Central Prison on murder charges. The case files for these prisoners were reportedly opened about 21 years ago.

According to a report by the human rights news agency, HRANA, the Iranian authorities carried out the 3 executions on the morning of Tuesday August 15. 

The report identifies the prisoners as Mahmoud Arab Khorasani, Mehdi Kaseb, and Mohammad Taghi Dehparvar. 

The prisoners were reportedly transferred to solitary confinement on Sunday August 13 in preparation for their executions.

"These three prisoners were sentenced to death about 21 years ago based on the Judge's opinion rather than actual documented evidence," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights. "21 years ago, 2 of the prisoners had their death sentences commuted to lashings and a 3-year prison term each. However, they were tried again and sentenced to death."

Iranian official sources, including the Judiciary and the state-run media, have not announced these 3 executions.


Prisoner with no previous criminal record to be executed at any moment on drug charges


A prisoner with drug charges and no previous criminal record is in imminent danger of execution. He may be hanged at any moment.

Iran Human Rights (AUG 19 2017): A prisoner at Isfahan Central Prison who is on death row for drug charges was reportedly transferred to solitary confinement in preparation for his execution. According to close sources, the transfer occurred on the morning of Saturday August 19. 

Close sources have identified the prisoner as Karim Shahbakhsh.

"Karim was sentenced to death despite never having had a criminal record. He was sentenced to death on the charge of 120 kilograms of heroin and 140 kilograms of opium. He was convicted along with another person who was executed two months ago," an informed source tells Iran Human Rights.

Mr. Shahbakhsh is reportedly scheduled to be executed in the coming days.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 19, 2017


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