TEHRAN // A top Iranian judiciary official says a new directive bans the execution of juvenile offenders convicted of drug crimes but those who have committed murder can still receive capital punishment. Hossein Zobhi, the deputy public prosecutor, has told reporters that the judges are still required under the law to issue death sentences for juveniles convicted of murder if the victim family refuses financial compensation.
Today's directive doesn't extend to the more than 120 juvenile currently on death row. Iran is the world's biggest executioner of minors. Iran has accounted for more than two-thirds of such executions in the past three years, according to international rights groups. *AP