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Peter Sarsgaard
A lesson on the death penalty from a grieving mother in Iran
A lesson on the death penalty from a grieving mother in Iran

Iran is a death penalty machine. More than 600 people were executed there last year, according to the United Nations, many of them in public hangings before crowds filled with children. So far this year, there have been an estimated 188 executions. That number would have been 189 had it not been for the family of Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, an 18-year-old knifed to death in a street fight seven years ago. Islamic sharia law gave the young man's mother, Samereh Alinejad, the right to extract revenge by participating in the execution of the man who killed her son. As the convicted murderer stood in the gallows, a noose around his neck, she was called forward to help kick the chair out from...

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