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Iranian killer's execution stopped by victim's parents

Iranian Killer Spared Execution When Victim's Mother Forgives

The execution of an Iranian convicted of murder was halted at the very last minute in a dramatic scene this week when the mother of his victim forgave him as he stood on the gallows with the noose around his neck, according to Iranian media.

The convict, identified by his first name Bilal, had been sentenced to death for killing a teenager, Abdollah Hosseinzadeh, during a street fight in the market of the northern Iranian town of Nour seven years ago, the ISNA news agency reported. At the time, both Bilal and Hosseinzadeh were around 17 years old, ISNA said.

Bilal was brought blindfolded to the site of his planned execution Tuesday in a town square. He was stood on a chair on the gallows and the noose was put on his neck, according to pictures of the scene published by ISNA.

But at the last minute, Hosseinzadeh's mother, Samereh Alinejad, forgave him, after giving a speech to the crowd and then slapping Bilal in the face. Hosseinzadeh's father helped take the noose off of Bilal, whose weeping mother hugged Alinejad in thanks, as seen in the photos.

Hosseinzadeh's family had come under calls by famous artists, soccer coaches and town residents to pardon Bilal and accept blood money instead of execution, a provision allowed to victim's families under Iranian law. Bilal was a student of Hosseinzadeh's father, a well-known former local soccer player who now coaches the sport. Even an episode of a popular sports program on Iranian state television had urged the family to forgive Bilal the day before his planned execution.

Alinejad told the Shargh newspaper in an interview published Thursday that she resisted the pressure, including from her own family. She and her husband, who also have a daughter, lost another son who was killed in a car crash years earlier.

She told Shargh that her son Abdollah appeared to her in a dream and asked her to forgive his killer, and still she was reluctant. She said that in her speech at the gallows, she scolded the crowd for pressuring her to forgive, saying: "Do you know what I have gone through all these years and how my life became like poison?"

But after Bilal pleaded to her - and she slapped him - "I felt at ease" and forgave him, she said.

Bilal will serve a prison sentence instead of being executed, according to the newspaper.

Iran has the second highest number of executions in the world - 369 in 2013 - after China, according to Amnesty International.

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okada02 April 17 2014 at 8:25 PM

They need to do this in California! Hang murderers!

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2 replies
Lindsay okada02 April 17 2014 at 8:31 PM


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xbyfan okada02 April 17 2014 at 8:32 PM

oh yeah , when it comes to other you want to do it but not to your own people right ? when some one will do it to you one day again like they did it on 9/11 - you are not immune !

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Apon Bhubon April 18 2014 at 4:45 AM

Nothing is better than this on the part of a grieving mother who can feel deep in her heart the blessing from heaven. Islam approved rules are nothing but blessing from heaven. Life for life may sound different, but every life is precious. Killers take the life and should face the same consequence unless the family not a court, forgives. If the last part was not there- Islam would not be accepted as the religion of peace. Practicing forgiveness is strongly encouraged in Islam.

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satellites April 17 2014 at 7:35 PM

That's pretty stylish prison garb.

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bagadoughnuts3 April 17 2014 at 7:38 PM

Whew that was close.

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joyceand April 17 2014 at 10:48 PM

Iranians are sick savages. I'm glad to see that was an exception.

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gov111w April 17 2014 at 3:03 PM

Sounds like where this county is going, money instead of Justice !!!!

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kimcrdr April 17 2014 at 5:22 PM

wow, bless this woman for she has way more love and compassion than I ever would have toward someone who murdered my child, I believe I would have been the one wanting to put the noose around his neck and he couldn't climbed on the stool fast enough!

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Your Highness April 17 2014 at 7:38 PM

Our judicial system is far too much of a financial, time & energy consuming, pro-criminal insult-to-injury depleter of our national budget defecit. Period, end of ******* discussion. . .

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tzulu11953 April 17 2014 at 5:22 PM

If the crime is proven then do the deed.the only problem to me is, was the circumstances of the crime factual in that government ? They hang a tremendous amount of people over there for less. I rather trust the faith of the mothers forgiveness than the governments audience to watch an execution in the streets

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Say NO to libs! April 17 2014 at 3:47 PM

This is the way executions should be handled. Leave it to the victim's loved ones to push the chair (fire the bullet, push the plunger etc.). I believe I would have done the same in this case. 2 teens involved in a street fight it could just have easily been her son in the noose and this man's Mother deciding their fate instead. I'm glad she was able to feel peace with her decision and I hope she can bring her life back to some kind of normalcy now.

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