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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Pakistan: 2 brothers acquitted in abduction, murder case; Army Chief signs death warrants of 4 terrorists

A division bench of the Lahore High Court Tuesday acquitted 2 real brothers- Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas- who were convicted for killing a woman after abduction.

The bench comprising Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmed and Justice Ch Mushtaq Ahmad acquitted the convicts while accepting their appeals against the sentence.

During the course of proceedings, the defendants' counsel submitted that there was no solid evidence which showed that the convicts were responsible for or associated with the murder. He pleaded the bench to acquit them after setting aside their death sentence.

In 2011, an addition district and sessions judge had awarded death penalty to Ali Abbas and Nadeem Abbas for kidnapping Naseem Sharif, wife of late brigadier Muhammad Sharif and killing her after getting signatures on the property documents.

Army Chief has signed the deaths warrants of Murad Khan s/o Sarfraz Khan, Inayatullah s/o Khakhay Khan, Israruddin alias Abu LASE S/O Hussain Ahmad and Noor Saeed alias Hafiz Saheb s/o Muhammad Saeed.

The army chief today endorsed the sentencing of these terrorists.

The ISPR said the convicts were involved in manslaughter, suicide bombing, abduction for ransom, funding terrorist organisations and causing colossal damage to life and property.

More than 300 death convicts have been sent to the gallows in the country after the government lifted a six-year moratorium on death penalty in the wake of the attack on Peshawar's Army Public School in December last year which left 150 people dead, majority schoolchildren.

Last week, the warrants of Maulvi Abdus Salam, Hazrat Ali, Mujeebur Rehman and Sabeel alias Yahya were signed by the army chief, and they were hanged days later in a Kohat jail.

Source: Pakistan Today, nanonews.org, December 9, 2015

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