USA | Biden needs to act on growing anti-death penalty sentiments

The flattening of public discourse — political, social, moral and ethical — into a simplistic left-right binary is a disturbing trend that too few of us push back against. People are encouraged to live in their echo chambers through news outlets tailored to confirm their worldviews and social media feeds custom-designed to reinforce their biases. This polarized discourse has created a false narrative around the death penalty that relies on simplistic and overgeneralized notions of our country’s partisan divide. It is a narrative that, while easy to communicate, ignores the diversity of voices expressing serious concerns about how the death penalty operates in America. For instance, the authors of this op-ed belie that simplicity. One of us is a former Democratic U.S. senator from Wisconsin, a state that has not had the death penalty since 1853, and who has worked tirelessly throughout his public life to end the death penalty. The other is the former Republican-appointed United States a

China to review murder case 19 years after execution

Execution in China (file photo)
BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) -- China's Supreme People's Court (SPC) has decided to review a rape-murder case 19 years after the convict was executed, as another man insists he is is guilty.

Shandong Higher People's Court will review the case of Nie Shubin and Wang Shujin. Nie was executed in 1995 at the age of 21 for the 1994 rape and murder of a woman in Hebei's provincial capital, Shijiazhuang.

Wang Shujin, 47, was apprehended by police in 2005 for three unconnected rape and murder cases, and confessed to the rape and murder of the same woman in Nie's case.

Wang, sentenced to death in March 2007, claimed that he raped and murdered a woman in a cornfield on the outskirts of Shijiazhuang in 1994 and Nie was innocent. 

Hebei Higher People's Court, which approved the death penalty on Nie in 1995, did not believe his claim in a retrial last year and Nie's verdict still stands.

Wang's claims have raised public questions of judicial impartiality.

The review of Nie's case is aimed at "ensuring judicial fairness and responding to public concerns," according to the SPC's announcement.

Source: Xinhua, December 13, 2014

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