A convicted murderer on death row in Kerman was saved from his decreed fate at the foot of the gallows when the family of the victim agreed to show him mercy.

The Kerman Court announced on Sunday February 16 that H. S. had been convicted of first degree murder and was supposed to have been hanged. But with the consent of the victim’s next of kin, the prisoner was saved from death and has been returned to jail to await further judicial proceedings.

The death sentence was reportedly approved by the Supreme Court of Justice and the head of the judiciary.

IRNA reports that two young men had found themselves competing for the romantic interests of the same woman. The convicted man is currently 27 years old and has been in jail for five years. The victim was 20 years old at the time of the incident.

The report indicates that the consent to save the prisoner from death came as the rope was already around his neck.

According to the Iranian Sharia Penal Code, courts can mete out punishment equal to the crime committed, and once the sentence has been confirmed by the judiciary, only consent from the victim’s next of kin can stop the sentence from being carried out.