Iran reconsiders stoning adulteress: Would hang her instead

I guess on one level, you could congratulate the Iranians for making progress toward becoming civilized. Substituting a 19th century punishment for a 7th century punishment is a sign of growth in Iranian society.

But the notion of executing anyone for committing adultery wipes away any patina of progress and pegs the Iranian regime as a pariah state, worthy of the strongest condemnation.


Authorities in Iran say they are moving ahead with plans to execute a woman who was sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, but are considering whether to carry out the sentence by hanging instead.

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is serving 10 years in prison for a separate conviction over the murder of her husband. After an international outcry last July, Iran suspended plans to carry out her death sentence.

On Sunday, a senior judiciary official said experts were studying whether the punishment of stoning could be changed to hanging.

"There is no haste. We are waiting to see whether we can carry out the execution of a person sentenced to stoning by hanging or not," Malek Ajdar Sharifi, the head of the justice department of East Azerbaijan province - where Ashtiani is imprisoned - said, according to the semi-official ISNA news agency.

"As soon as the result [of the investigation] is obtained, we will carry out the sentence."

The charge of a married woman having an illicit relationship requires a punishment of stoning, Sharifi added. He said the judiciary chief, Ayatollah Sadeq Larijani, had ordered a halt to stoning to allow Islamic experts to investigate whether the punishment could be altered in Ashtiani's case.

Ashtiani's full story is here.

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