[Deathpenalty] death penalty news-----worldwide
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Tue Feb 5 22:51:08 CST 2008
Iranian man sentenced to death for drinking alcohol
An Iranian court has sentenced a 22-year-old man to death for violating
the Islamic Republic's ban on drinking alcohol several times, a news
agency said on Tuesday.
Under Iran's Islamic sharia law, a person who is caught drinking for a 4th
time and confesses faces possible capital punishment, even though legal
experts say executions for this offence are very rare.
"My client had been drinking at home for a fourth time and he made some
disturbance in the street and police arrested him," his lawyer, Aziz
Nokandei, told the ISNA news agency.
Nokandei said his client, identified only with his first name Mohsen, had
confessed and expressed remorse. He can appeal against the verdict within
20 days under Iranian law and the head of the judiciary can also
First-time violators of Iran's strict alcohol laws face possible lashes,
fines or jail.
Iran has stepped up the number of executions in the country since the
authorities launched a clampdown on 'immoral behaviour' in July, arresting
scores of accused drug smugglers, murderers, rapists and other criminals.
European governments and Western rights groups have criticised Iran for
the executions, usually carried out by hanging. Iran has dismissed the
criticism and accused the West of double standards.
Last week, Iran's judiciary chief ordered a halt to public executions in
Iran unless they have his approval.
While those sentenced to death would still be hanged behind prison walls,
the move by Ayatollah Mahmoud Hashemi-Shahroudi appeared designed to lower
the public profile of Iran's increasing number of executions.
Murder, adultery, rape, armed robbery, apostasy and drug trafficking are
all punishable by death under Iran's sharia law, practised since Iran's
1979 Islamic revolution.
Rights group Amnesty International says Iran has one of the highest rates
of executions in the world.
Never an excuse for death penalty
In response to John Smith, of the United Kingdom Independence Party, I am,
I always have been, and always will be, against the death penalty.
There is no justification that I can think of for its use.
There is no evidence to prove that it is a deterrent any more than a life
sentence in prison. In fact some criminologists suggest that the death
penalty has the opposite effect, and societies that use it are more brutal
and have higher murder rates than those that don't.
Retribution is just another word for revenge. Many victims' families
denounce the use of the death penalty. Using an execution to try to right
the wrong of their loss is an affront to them and only causes more pain.
Executions should not be used as pay-back. A life for a life? We dont
allow the raping of rapists, the molesting of child molesters children, or
torture of torturers, so why do we condone legalised murder?
Capital punishment is unreliable. The potential for wrongful convictions
from mistaken eyewitness identification, false confessions, faulty science
and unreliable informant testimony, have been identified as prevalent
causes of the conviction of innocent people. Once someone has been
executed, nothing can be done to make amends if a mistake has been made.
The Labour Government campaigned for years to keep us from reinstating the
death penalty as a form of punishment and I admired them for it. But they
condoned the execution and possible martyrdom of senior Iraqis by doing
This would have been an ideal opportunity to change history in that
troubled part of the world. A less brutal sentence, such as life
imprisonment, would surely have given a more mature message and encouraged
respect for life.
(source: Letter to the Editor, Beverly Collins)
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