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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 -…

Saudi executes Pakistani heroin smuggler

Public executions in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public executions in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Tuesday executed a convicted Pakistani heroin smuggler, adding to a toll which rights group Amnesty International says is the kingdom`s highest in two decades.

The ministry of interior said Khan Iqbal was put to death in the holy city of Mecca for smuggling a large amount of heroin in his intestines.

According to AFP tallies, Iqbal is the 149th local or foreigner put to death this year, against 87 for all of 2014.

London-based Amnesty says the number of executions in Saudi Arabia this year is the highest since 192 people were put to death in 1995.

The toll has rarely exceeded 90 annually in recent years, it said.

Reasons for the surge are unclear.

Over the last few weeks, however, there has been a marked drop in executions, all of which are reported by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Rights experts have raised concerns about the fairness of trials in the kingdom and say the death penalty should not be applied in drug cases.

Last month the European Union issued a statement saying a number of people had been put to death recently in Saudi Arabia after convictions for drug trafficking.

"The European Union is opposed to capital punishment in all cases and without exception," it said.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 8, 2015

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