Just Hang

 Farzaneh Moradi, a 26-year -old Iranian woman was hanged on March 4, 2014 after being imprisoned for 6 years. She was charged with the murder of her husband, who she married at the age of 15. However, there is still a question of whether or not she received a fair trial before her hanging. Iran is one of the several international countries implementing the death penalty around the world, joining others like China, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan. From 2007-2012 a total of 1, 663 individuals have been executed. Different methods of execution, which have been used, include beheading, injections and hangings. Most of these executions have been conducted in public forums.

When initially charged with the crime, Moradi originally confessed, taking blame for the actions committed. However, later on Moradi explained that she had not committed the crime. Instead, that a man had carried out the murder and had influenced her to take the blame, telling her that the government would never convict a young mother and subject her to the death penalty. Instead of investigating these allegations, the court rejected this excuse and instead continued with her initial confession and sentenced her to death. According to Iranian law, the only way that Moradi would be released from her charges is if the family of the victim provided her with reprieve.

With the loss of due process rights for Moradi, members of the United Nations human rights has began to express concern for the many executions that have occurred within Iran, including Moradi’s. Experts report that just this year alone, 176 individuals have been hanged in Iran. Experts have begun urging the Iranian government to change their ways. However, it looks as though the Iranian Government is content with their public displays of punishment, stating that the executions committed by the government provide, “a great service to humanity.” Although experts have been appointed to investigate the situations and report back the situation, there is a potential doubt that the Iranian process will change for the better for Iranian citizens.

Do you think the government of Iran will change the way they conduct punishments? What can the UN do to demand that Iran provide due process to their citizens and change their current process?




Death Penalty


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  1. Hopefully these draconian measures will come to an end soon. Every citizen of every country must be afforded their due process rights, especially when their life is on the line. Forced false confessions are very common, thus all investigations should be thorough. The fact that this woman retracted her original confession is suspect, because she may have been under duress when she made her statement, and she may have never in fact murdered her husband, thus her case should have been better examined to ensure that the right person is punished. The woman should not have been hung before her case was completely and adequately tried. The vast amount of executions in general is alarming, and may have a lot to do with mediocre investigations such as this one. The government of Iran should definitely change the way they conduct punishments. Especially the public executions because it is inhumane to hang of behead someone in public. I cannot believe they refer to these executions as “a great service to humanity.” Hopefully the United Nations can step in and make some changes, because it seems as though Iran is reluctant to do so.

  2. The problem of the way Iran handles their executions and death penalties is a grave one and requires immediate reform. These death penalty situations involve someone’s life hanging in the balance, literally, and as a result it is an absolute necessity to guarantee that these people are afforded every bit of due process possible. The case of Farzaneh Moradi is a prime example of how it is very easy to take a person’s life that may in fact have been innocent. Although it wasn’t known one way or another whether Moradi did commit the murder, the fact that there was a possibility she was not guilty and still paid the ultimate price is absolutely inexcusable. Additionally, to conduct these executions in the public is medieval and needs to be stopped effective immediately. It serves no legitimate purpose other than showcasing the death of an individual as if its some kind of innocent sport. Iran needs to change these ways and the U.N needs to put constant pressure on them to do so immediately.

  3. I don’t think there is much that the United Nations can do with regard to Iran’s stance on the death penalty. There are already numerous sanctions enforced against Iran. The West has already made Iran’s nuclear power a central prong in the international debate, yet not much has changed with this situation. Also, various other countries still have the death penalty, the United States included. How can our country, which has notoriously put many innocent people to death, really have a fundamental leg to stand on in this debate? Each country has its own laws and procedural due process. The outside world is full of critics, but there is no SINGLE right answer to how issues of this nature should be handled. This young girl changed her answers, yes she was vulnerable and obviously in a dire situation, but no one really knows the truth. All I am saying is that, the facts as they may be purported, do not sufficiently convey that anything different is happening in Iran that isn’t happening or couldn’t in our back yards.

  4. First, it is interesting to me that, “According to Iranian law, the only way that Moradi would be released from her charges is if the family of the victim provided her with reprieve.” It is bewildering that forgiveness from a victim’s family could affect a defendant’s guilt or innocence at law. This practice alone shows that perhaps the Iranian courts are not conducted solely on legal fairness but rather take heavily into account social customs and reputation, when deciding verdicts.
    For due process to be withheld from a defendant facing the harshest of punishments, execution, is immoral. Mistaken verdicts are reversed often on appeal and it is not unheard of for defendants, who have served many years in prison, to be vindicated and found not guilty. Currently, Iran is not concerned with these possible errors or drastic consequences, as long as their method of public hangings scare the public enough to deter certain conduct.

  5. Execution as a form of punishment presents many issues. For one, how do you know if the person being convicted truly committed the crime? Sometimes the evidence is not enough to identify the true perpetrator. In the United States, the courts allow for several appeals to be done in order to give the person on trial a chance. However, I feel that the courts can still convict the wrong person. Safeguards need to be ensured if the country refuses to remove execution as a form of punishment. The problem with Moradi’s trial and sentencing was that she was imprisoned for only six years. She also confessed and then recanted her testimony. I feel that Iran should have investigated this possibility. The manner in which Iran conducts these executions is a means to deter others from committing crimes. The public executions serve as a reminder to the public that this is what will happen if you commit a crime. Moradi is an example.

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