Directive Regarding Capital Punishment — January 2018
Directive sent by Sadegh Amoli Larijani to all Judicial authorities , signalling the implementation of the amendment to the Counter Narcotics Law approved by the Parliament in October of 2017.
Islamic Republic of Iran
Head of the Judiciary
Date: January 6, 2018
Directive to all judicial authorities nationwide:
In the implementation of the Law of the Annexation of An Article to the Counter Narcotics Law, approved by the Iranian Parliament on October 4, 2017, and the necessity of expediting its implementation in cases where formerly issued rulings are eligible for a reduced sentence, judicial authorities must pay attention to the following:
- The “Law” in this circular refers to the Counter Narcotics Law approved in 1989 by the Expediency Council, along with its subsequent amendments and extensions, and the “single article” refers to the addition of an article to the Counter Narcotics Law, approved by the Iranian Parliament on October 4, 2017.
- Judges responsible for enforcing penal sentences are required to expeditiously halt the executions and review all cases referred to in article (10) (b) of the Islamic Penal Code of 2014, with priority for those sentenced to death, and where the implementation of the “single article” would reduce the punishment of the convicted individuals, to submit the case in a statement together with the case file to the branch of the Revolutionary Court that originally issued the final decree or its successor. Where the convicted individual independently requests the sentence reduction, the Enforcement Unit Judge is obligated to submit his/her request along with the case file to the court.Note: “The court that originally issued the final decree,” refers to the Revolutionary Court branch that issued the sentence, whether the sentence was finalized after the moratorium had expired, or whether, depending on the case, it was confirmed by the Head, or a Supreme Court branch, or the Prosecutor General.
- Prisoners covered by this Article may submit their request to the Head Warden of their prison. In this case, the Head Warden must submit the received request in its entirety to the enforcing court as soon as possible. The Enforcement Unit Judge must forward the request along with the case file for review to the court that originally issued the final decree.
- The court that originally issued the final decree must examine the submitted case file as soon as possible, and if it deems the case under article (10) (b) of the Islamic Penal Code, to take action to issue a revised verdict based on sentence reduction. Otherwise, the court will reject the request for sentence reduction, providing the reasons, and the case file is returned to the relevant authority. The court’s decision is final.
- The exclusion from paragraph (b) (10) of the Islamic Penal Code for those sentenced to death or life imprisonment before the Single Article is implemented must be reflected in the case through minutes signed by the Enforcement Unit Judge and confirmed by the prosecutor, and enforcing the execution without it is prohibited.
- The use of children and adolescents under eighteen years of age or insane persons for committing the offense referred to in paragraph (b) of the single article includes those who commit the offenses in question by using those persons as a means of committing a crime, as stipulated in Article 128 of the Penal Code of the Islamic Republic of Iran approved in 2014, or cases such as hiring or recruiting mature individuals under the age of 18.
- According to paragraph (d) of the single article, the importation, exportation, shipping, manufacturing, making, distribution, sale or offering for sale of more than 50 kg of narcotics, subject of Article 4, or more than 2 kg of narcotics, subject of Article 8, and purchase, keeping, hiding, or carrying more than 3 kilograms of narcotics, subject of Article 8, will result in the death penalty.
- Individuals who prior to the single article’s enforcement date have committed the offenses listed in the first paragraph of this article with the amount of narcotics in excess of he amount specified in clause (d) and who do not meet the conditions stipulated in clauses (a), (b) and (c) of this article, will be eligible for the reduced sentence listed in the article.
- Enforcing Article 10 of the Islamic Penal Code, in the cases of individuals who have committed the crimes listed in this article prior to this single article’s effective date, and whose cases have not yet led to a sentence, and the application of the single article will be in their favor, the court is required to issue its ruling by complying with this article. Where the sentence has been issued and it is under consideration at an appeals court, the Supreme Court will overrule the verdict and forward the case file for review to a lateral court.
- If those sentenced to death are subjects of the Supreme Leader’s amnesty, and their sentence has been reduced to life imprisonment prior to the single article’s effective date, they shall be subject to article 20 (b) of the Islamic Penal Code.
- If the implementation of the single article reduces the sentences of individuals sentenced to life imprisonment to a second degree punishment, the abettors of the offense will also be subject to article 20 (b) of the Islamic Penal Code.
- In executing the single article’s clause, if a criminal offense is punishable by more than five years in prison, the court shall, in determining the penalty, be obliged to observe the following points:
A. It is forbidden to determine a penalty below the minimum legal punishment.
B. In the event that the minimum legal punishment for a crime is determined, except for the allowance provided for in article 38 of the law and where the Supreme Leader has granted amnesty, referred to in paragraph (11) of Article 100 of the Constitution, any such concession, such as suspension of punishment, conditional release, or punishment reduction subject of Article 443 of the Criminal Procedure Code is prohibited. If the penalty imposed exceeds the minimum punishment of a crime, the court may, after the minimum legal sentence for the crime is served, suspend all or part of the remaining sentence.
The responsibility for the implementation of this directive lies with the prosecutors and the heads of the judiciary in the jurisdictions, and the Prosecutor General supervises its proper implementation and will provide a report about the implementation of the said single article after three months to the Head of the Judiciary.
Sadegh Amoli Larijani
January 6, 2018