Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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 -…

Indonesia: 'Drug Queen' sentenced to death for leading syndicate

Meth bust in Indonesia
Meth bust in Indonesia
The Supreme Court has once again sentenced to death Meirika Franola, notoriously dubbed Indonesia's "drug queen", after being spared the death penalty during Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's presidency.

Supreme Court spokesman Suhadi said that the court's decision to give the death penalty to Meirika, commonly known as Ola, was not based on her initial crime, for which she had been granted clemency by Yudhoyono in 2011, but for controlling a drug smuggling ring from inside Tangerang Penitentiary.

"The person in question [Ola] was sentenced to death at the end of November because she was found guilty of trafficking drugs from inside a prison," he said on Thursday.Ola was originally sentenced to death on Aug. 22, 2000, by the Tangerang District Court for attempting to smuggle 3 kilograms of cocaine and 3.5 kilograms of heroine to London through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Then president Yudhoyono decided to grant her clemency as she had expressed remorse for her crimes, and her sentence was downgraded to life-imprisonment.

However, just a year after she was granted clemency, the National Narcotics Agency (BNN) apprehended drug smuggler Nur Aisyah attempting to smuggle 775 grams of crystal methamphetamine from India to Indonesia at the Husein Sastranegara International Airport in Bandung.

Aisyah reportedly admitted that she was merely a courier in the drug smuggling ring and had received orders to carry the drugs from Ola. She was allegedly introduced to Ola through her boyfriend, who was serving his sentence at Tanjung Balai Penitentiary in Asahan, North Sumatra, and was instructed to fly to Bangalore, India to pick up the drugs before returning to Indonesia with the drugs in a backpack.

In March this year, the Tangerang District Court found Ola guilty of money laundering, but innocent of drug trafficking. However, the court decided not to punish Ola as she was already in prison for life. Dissatisfied with the results, the prosecutors filed an appeal to the higher courts demanding Ola be given the death penalty, a request that was eventually granted by the Supreme Court.

Suhadi explained that it was likely the Supreme Court had decided to give Ola the death sentence because she had not changed her ways during her time in prison.

"She has not been deterred by her time in prison and has continued her smuggling business," he said.

Law expert from Muhammadiyah University in Jakarta, Chairul Huda, said that it was within the Supreme Court's legal rights to hand down the death penalty to Ola, even though she had previously received clemency.

"The [Supreme Court's decision] is legitimate because the decision was not based on the previous crime," he said.

Local media have also reported that Ola's lawyer, Troy Latuconsina, may be considering filing a case review. Arie Soeripan of the Anti-Narcotics National Movement applauded the Supreme Court's decision but said that it was not enough as the drug situation in the country was "critical".

The BNN estimates that between 3.8 million and 4.2 million people aged between 10 and 59 had used or were actively using drugs in 2014.)

Source: thejakartapost.com, December 4, 2015

BNN Busts Drug Courier Carrying 161 Kilos of Meth

Jakarta. Anti-narcotics officers have seized 161 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and arrested a suspect in one of the biggest hauls of what has fast become Indonesia’s drug of choice.

The drugs were found packed in boxes in the back of a truck transporting them from Surabaya to Jakarta. Officers from the National Narcotics Agency, or BNN, intercepted the vehicle on the Cikampek toll road in Karawang, West Java, on Thursday, and arrested the alleged courier, identified as Tommy Lee.

Tommy claimed he had received the contraband from someone in Surabaya and was meant to take them to a Chinese national identified as Chen Bin in Ancol, North Jakarta.

When BNN officials later stormed Chen’s apartment, he reportedly tried to escape by jumping out of the window. He died from his injuries.

Police are still searching for the Surabaya supplier.

Tommy said it wasn’t his first drug run. He claimed he usually transported one or two kilograms of crystal meth on each trip, but decided to go in bulk this time around for a higher commission.

He faces drug trafficking charges that carry a maximum penalty of death.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, December 4, 2015

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