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USA | Biden to work to end executions as government sets 3 more

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WASHINGTON (AP) - President-elect Joe Biden is against the death penalty and will work to end its use, his spokesman said Saturday, as the Justice Department scheduled three more federal executions during before the Jan. 20 inauguration, including two shortly before he is set to take office. The Bureau of Prisons on Thursday carried out the eighth federal execution this year , after a 17-year hiatus, and it is likely to increase pressure on Biden decide whether his administration would continue to schedule executions once he is sworn in.  Advocacy groups have called on the Trump administration to pause all executions until Biden takes office. Biden "opposes the death penalty now and in the future," press secretary TJ Ducklo said. He did not say whether executions would be paused immediately once Biden takes office. Federal executions resumed this year despite the coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 250,000 people and is raging inside the nation's prison system

Saudi beheads citizen for murder

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday beheaded one of its citizens in the holy city of Medina after convicting him of murdering a fellow national, the interior ministry said.

Hussein al-Awfi was found guilty of shooting to death Nayef al-Sahimi after a “feud” between the two, the official SPA news agency quoted the ministry as saying.

His beheading brings to 30 the total number of executions in the ultra-conservative kingdom so far this year, according to an AFP tally based on official reports.

Under the AFP count, at least 76 people were beheaded in 2011 in Saudi Arabia, while rights group Amnesty International put the number of executions last year at 79.

The death penalty in Saudi Arabia applies to a wide range of offences including rape, apostasy, homosexuality, armed robbery and drug trafficking, as well as murder, as stipulated by Islamic Sharia law.

Source: SAPA, June 6, 2012

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