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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

A year on from Peshawar, Pakistan sends more convicts to the gallows

Pakistan has hanged 8 convicted murderers in jails across the country. Executions come a day ahead of the 1-year anniversary of the Peshawar school attack, which prompted Islamabad to reinstate the death penalty.

A moratorium on executions was lifted last year by Pakistan after Taliban gunmen killed more than 150 people, most of them children, at an army-run school in the northwest on December 16, 2014.

The latest round of executions took place Tuesday in various locations in Punjab province, with 8 convicted murderers sent to the prison gallows.

"2 convicts on death row were hanged in Multan, 2 each in Bahawalpur and Gujrat and 1 each in Attock and Dera Ghazi Khan," Chaudhry Arshad Saeed, a senior prison official in Punjab, told the AFP news agency.

Pakistan has not released figures on the number of executions carried out since the 6-year moratorium was lifted. But rights activists put the number at 310 since March.

Taliban atrocity spurs return of hanging

The killing of nearly 150 people, mostly pupils, outraged the nation, allowing government to bring back the gallows.

Germany, the United Nations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have called on Pakistan to cease executing prisoners.

Islamabad argues the state killings are necessary to deter militancy in the country. But rights groups say 90 % of those executed were convicted of common crimes and not tied to militant groups.

For decades more than 7,000 death row prisoners have been awaiting the gallows, according to statistics compiled by the Law Ministry.

Source: Deutsche Welle, December 15, 2015

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