Death row murderer dies from joy after finding out he wont face execution

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An Iranian man condemned to death 18 years ago after being convicted of murder “died of happiness” after being told that his sentence was being commuted.

The 55-year-old from southern Iran, named in local reports as Akbar, was forgiven by his victim's family which meant he would no longer face the death penalty.

Officials in the state's dispute resolution board are reported to have helped to persuade the family to make the decision.

But after learning that the victim's family had pardoned him and that he no longer faced the hangman, Akbar suffered a heart attack as a result of being "overjoyed" and died, according to a report in the state-run newspaper Hamshahri.

It’s not unusual in Iran for death penalties to be commuted after the payment of Diyyeh – a privately-arranged settlement between the families of victim and perpetrator.

Iranian legal sources put a typical Diyyeh payment at 4,800,000,000 Rials – or about £83,000.

In many cases, judges try to persuade the family to forgive the murderer, even at times pressuring them to do so. Often, a murder execution is delayed for several years after the murder was committed in order to persuade the family to exercise forgiveness and allow time for the murderer to pay Diyyeh.

Despite that arrangement, Iran still executes more of its citizens, per capita, than any other nation on Earth.

Apart from internationally-recognised crimes such as murder, rape and drug-trafficking, the hardline Islamic state also puts people to death for homosexuality and religious offences such as "waging war against God"; "spreading corruption on Earth”.

Hamshahri quoted sources familiar with the case as saying that Akbar had been living in fear of being executed for the murder he committed at the age of 37, and it was the sheer relief that brought on the cardiac event.

The paper added that officials in the state's dispute resolution board were able to convince the victim's family to pardon him, but he died before being released.

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  • Iran
  • Death Row

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