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Anthony Ray Hinton Spent Almost 30 Years on Death Row. Now He Has a Message for White America.

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Anthony Ray Hinton was mowing the lawn at his mother's house in 1985 when Alabama police came to arrest him for 2 murders he did not commit. One took place when he was working the night shift at a Birmingham warehouse. Yet the state won a death sentence, based on 2 bullets it falsely claimed matched a gun found at his mother's home. In his powerful new memoir, "The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life and Freedom on Death Row," Hinton describes how racism and a system stacked against the poor were the driving forces behind his conviction. He also writes about the unique and unexpected bonds that can form on death row, and in particular about his relationship with Henry Hays, a former Klansman sentenced to death for a notorious lynching in 1981. Hays died in the electric chair in 1997 - 1 of 54 people executed in Alabama while Hinton was on death row.
After almost 30 years, Hinton was finally exonerated in 2015, thanks to the Equal Justice Initiative, or EJI. On April 27…

Has Rama X revived Thailand’s death penalty?

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When Thailand announced on Monday night that it had carried out its first execution in nine years, the news was met with shock. The country had refrained from imposing the death penalty since the lethal injection of two drug dealers in 2009. It had also repeatedly pledged to look into ditching capital punishment altogether.
That changed on the night of 19 June 2018, when the Corrections Department said it had sent a 26-year-old man convicted of aggravated murder to the lethal injection chamber.
What’s puzzling is the authorities’ refusal to discuss or explain the question of why him—and why now? As any journalist working in Thailand would tell you: once Thai bureaucrats keep mum about certain questions, it’s time to raise the alarm.
Behind this surprising turn of events—which has virtually gone unreported by the media—is King Vajiralongkorn’s apparent refusal to grant the condemned man a royal pardon and stay his execution. This is a significant departure from his late father’s longs…

Las Vegas judge signs Scott Dozier’s execution warrant

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Scott Dozier could be dead in less than a month.
A judge this week signed an execution warrant for the Nevada death row prisoner, and his lethal injection is scheduled for 8 p.m. July 11.
Last month, the state’s Supreme Court ruled that District Judge Jennifer Togliatti should not have denied the prison system’s planned use of a paralytic drug to execute Dozier.
But an attorney for the Department of Corrections has said that the state’s supply of diazepam, an anxiety drug and one of the three drugs in the lethal injection cocktail, has expired, and it’s unclear whether the prison system has obtained a new drug.
Prison spokeswoman Brooke Santina said Wednesday that “we have what we need to complete the order,” but she did not know which drugs are expected to be used.
One of Dozier’s lawyers, Tom Ericcson, said he did not expect Dozier to pull back on his request to be executed.
“I am not aware of anything else that is going to be done,” Ericsson said. “Scott doesn’t want anything else…

Abbas agrees to end death penalty, but Hamas objects

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Palestine is joining 102 countries that have abolished the death penalty and 33 others that have suspended it. On June 6, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas signed documents to accede to seven international conventions and treaties, including one on abolition of the death penalty. Abbas instructed Foreign Minister Riad Malki to handle the procedures to implement these conventions.
Abbas signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted by the UN in 1989, aimed at abolishing the death penalty and stipulating, “No one within the jurisdiction of a state party to the present protocol shall be executed,” and “each state party shall take all necessary measures to abolish the death penalty within its jurisdiction.”
Public Prosecutor Ahmed Barak told Al-Monitor that current Palestinian Basic Law allows for the death penalty but requires that it be implemented with the approval of the Palestinian Authority (PA) pr…

Indonesian Islamic State cleric gets death sentence for Jakarta attack

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An Indonesian cleric found guilty of masterminding a 2016 terror attack in Jakarta which left four civilians dead has been sentenced to death.
Aman Aburrahman was convicted of planning the attack which saw a suicide bomber blow himself up at a Starbucks.
The cleric, who had declared his support for the Islamic State (IS), is also the spiritual leader of a local extremist network.
The 2016 attack was the first linked to IS in Indonesia.
Aburrahman, 46, has been in prison since 2010 but the court heard he planned the attacks from his jail cell.
The attack saw a series of explosions hit the capital, with the Starbucks and a police security post among those hit by the blast.
The blasts centered around a major shopping and business district, close to foreign embassies and United Nations offices.
Gunmen were also holed up in the complex that housed the Starbucks, and gunfire was exchanged when police arrived.
Two attackers were killed in the shootout and two others blew themselves up.
The …

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Death Penalty Repeal

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Governor Chris Sununu signaled he'd veto the death penalty repeal long before lawmakers sent one to his desk.
So, at the event his press team billed as an announcement on the repeal bill, the only real suspense was over how many police officers Sununu could squeeze into his office to witness his veto.
"So the desk doesn't move, unfortunately, so I will sit down and suck it in and we will tuck in as best we can here."
And police weren't the only invited guests.
Family members of murder victims were also on hand. Sununu said for the worst sort of crimes, the death penalty remains what he called the "ultimate justice."
"Abolishing the death penalty in New Hampshire would send the wrong message to those who would commit the most heinous offenses, namely, that New Hampshire is a place where a person who would commit the unthinkable crime may be guaranteed leniency."
New Hampshire hasn't put a criminal to death since 1939, and remains the only …

Texas assures court it can carry out aging death row inmate's execution

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The Lone Star State is confident it can kill Danny Bible.
Earlier this month, the aging Houston serial killer filed a last-minute lawsuit arguing that his veins are so bad and his health problems so severe that he can't be put to death - or it'll turn into a painfully botched procedure.
But the state of Texas begged to differ, touting its long history of successful executions.
"Texas is the most prolific death-penalty state in the nation," the state wrote in a Friday afternoon court filing. "Bible provides no example of a Texas execution, performed under the current protocol, gone horribly awry because of vein failure."
Officials say that a Florida killer's screams of "murderers!" during his execution were not caused by the drugs used for the lethal injection.
The 66-year-old 4-time killer, who is set for execution on June 27, pointed to bloody botched procedures in other states. In February, a lethal injection team in Alabama spent hours pok…

UN Experts Urge Iran To Halt 'Arbitrary' Execution Of Juvenile Offender

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2 UN rights experts have called on Iranian authorities to halt the planned execution of a man convicted of killing his teacher at the age of 15.
In a June 19 statement, the experts cited reports suggesting that Mohammad Kalhori will be executed shortly after the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which ended last week.
"Iran has committed itself to prohibiting the use of the death penalty for all those under 18 by its ratification of both the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child," said Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, and Renate Winter, who heads the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child.
"As such, this execution is unlawful and arbitrary," they added.
Callamard and Winter also noted that in 2013, Iran amended its Penal Code to allow judges to pronounce alternative sentences for juvenile offenders if there was any uncertainty about their "m…

Thailand: 2nd suspect hunted in wake of Monday's execution

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Police are stepping up the hunt for the 2nd suspect in the murder of a 17-year-old student in a public park 6 years ago, in the wake of the much debated execution on Monday of the youth's convicted killer.
The teenager was attacked by 2 young men on July 17, 2012 and killed. He was stabbed 24 times.
They stole his mobile phone, wallet and contents.
Theerasak Longji, 26, was put on trial for the crime and convicted of aggravated robbery. He was put to death by lethal injection on Monday afternoon, Thailand's 1st legal execution since 2009.
The 2nd, unidentified, suspect fled with the victim's possessions, deputy Muang Trang police chief Prasoet Songsaeng said on Wednesday. He was not the killer.
When the victim tried to run away, Theerasak had chased him down and stabbed him to death, Pol Lt Prasoet said.
That was murder with the intention to cover up a crime, he said.
Witnesses had identified Theerasak, who was wanted in another 5 criminal cases, as one of the attackers. …

In Saudi Arabia, Countering Terrorism Becomes Chimera for Rights Abuses

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Saudi Arabia's drive to counter terrorism has become a convenient chimera to support crackdowns on legitimate public dissent and political or social activism of any kind, and the campaign has turned into an indiscriminate tool wielded to stigmatize critics of the state as terrorists. Those are our conclusions based on research and 2 comprehensive visits to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by one of us, Ben Emmerson, while he was serving as Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights While Countering Terrorism, an independent expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The findings are outlined in detail in a country report issued last week with co-author, Fionnuala Ni Aolain, his successor as Special Rapporteur.
While expressing gratitude for the Kingdom's transparency and courteous, constructive and cooperative approach during the 2 visits, the report articulates grave and sustained concerns about Saudi Arabia's human rights record, and…