1997: Zoleykhah Kadkhoda survives stoning

On this date in 1997, Zoleykhah Kadkhoda was tried, condemned, and immediately stoned in the West Azerbaijan (Iran) city of Bukan.

Less commonly used but still to this day among the execution methods in Iran, stoning involves burying the victim in a hole — a man to his waist, a woman to her chest — and pelting him or her with rocks until dead. Plainly a horrible way to go, stoning is typically associated with adultery, which was Kadkhoda’s crime.

Kadkhoda made international headlines by surviving her attempted execution, either (accounts differ) because of popular intervention in the heavily Kurdish town, or by reviving at the morgue after being taken for dead.

International pressure caused the death sentence to be lifted; Kadkhoda was released later in that year.