A convicted drug smuggler is facing a second execution in Iran, after surviving his first execution.
The BBC reports that “the condemned man, named as Alireza M, was found alive in a morgue after being hanged at a jail in the north-eastern city of Bojnord last week. He is now being nursed to recovery in preparation for his repeat execution.”
Alireza “was left to hang for 12 minutes, after which a doctor declared him dead,” according to the BBC. “But when the prisoner’s family went to collect his body from the prison morgue the next day, they found he was still breathing.”
Amnesty International has called on the Iranian government to halt the second execution, calling it inhumane punishment.
Students in my HIST 111 Western Civilization 1500-1800 course will be interested in this story, since botched executions figured significantly in one of the books we discussed this semester. Joel F. Harrington, The Faithful Executioner: Life and Death, Honor and Shame in the Turbulent Sixteenth Century (New York: Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, 2013), presents a microhistory of a Nuremberg executioner, Franz Schmidt, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Although Franz strove to uphold his community’s ideals of justice through his professional conduct and moral behavior, several of the executions he performed were botched, with horrifying results. The book raises important questions about the death penalty and its application in the early modern period, as well as today.
BBC reports on the botched execution and the condemned Iranian man.