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“River of Fire”: In New Memoir, Sister Helen Prejean Reflects on Decades of Fighting Executions

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The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to resume the death penalty after a more than 15-year moratorium. This week Attorney General William Barr proposed fast-tracking executions in mass murder cases, and last month ordered the execution of five death row prisoners beginning in December. The federal government has executed just three people since 1963 — the last being in 2003. The death penalty is widely condemned by national governments, international bodies and human rights groups across the world. Experts say capital punishment does not help deter homicides and that errors and racism in the criminal justice system extend to those sentenced to death. We speak with Sister Helen Prejean, a well-known anti-death-penalty activist who began her prison ministry over 30 years ago. She is the author of the best-selling book “Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty,” which was turned into an Academy Award-winning film starring Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn. …

INDONESIA. 'BALI BOMBERS' DEATH SENTENCE APPEAL DROPPED

March 24, 2008: Islamic militants in Indonesia facing death over the 2002 Bali bombings are one step closer to the firing squad after a last-ditch appeal was dropped, reports said.

"The case was withdrawn by the ones that requested it and the prosecutors did not object, this means it is over. There are no further courts (of appeal)," the head of the panel of judges hearing the case Ida Bagus Putu Madeg was quoted as saying by news website Detikcom.

A lawyer for the bombers, Fachmi Bachmid, told AFP he withdrew from the judicial review at the Denpasar district court because a request to bring his three clients, Amrozi, Ali Ghufron and Imam Samudra, to appear in person at the appeal had been rejected by the court.

"The rights of our clients have been amputated. It is clearly stated in the letter from the Supreme Court that my clients and the prosecutors need to be present (in court for the appeal)," Bachmid said.

The review is the last avenue to stop the executions of the three short of an unlikely clemency from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.

Sources: Khaleej Times, 24/03/2008

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