An Iranian prisoner suffered a fatal heart attack upon learning he would no longer face the death penalty for a murder he committed 18 years ago, local newspaper Hamshahri reported on Feb. 22.
A 55-year-old Akbar from Southern Iran was arrested 18 years ago for premeditated murder.
According to the recent report, he was pardoned by his victim's family which meant he would no longer face capital punishment. Officials in the state's dispute resolution board were said to have taken part in convincing the family of the decision.
Akbar was overjoyed with the news and suffered a heart attack as a result. He died before he was released.
Sources familiar with the case said the 55-year-old Akbar was afraid of getting executed for the murder he committed when he was 37.
Death penalty in Iran
In Iran, prisoners who are sentenced to death remain on death row. It might take weeks, months, or years before the implementation of capital punishment as they must be approved by the Supreme Court.
Crimes punishable by death penalty include murder, rape, child molestation, homosexuality, pedophilia, drug trafficking, armed robbery, terrorism, burglary, incestuous relationships, arson, rebellion, counterfeiting, and smuggling.
Iran is believed to be one of the leading executioners with 299 individuals sentenced to death in 2021 alone, according to the US-based Human Rights Activists in the Islamic Republic.