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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 -…

Executed for Being Gay: 10 Places Where Being Gay Can Get You Killed

It’s crazy to think that today, in 2015, there are still places in the world where being gay could get you killed. Sure, we have a long way to go when it comes to equal rights, intolerance and acceptance — but being killed? How is that still possible?

Unfortunately, it’s a very scary reality for many LGBTQ people around the world.

YEMEN: If you’re a married man, and get caught having homosexual intercourse, you can be stoned to death. If you’re unmarried and get caught it’s a whipping and/or a year in prison. And for women — up to seven years in prison.

IRAN: Men caught engaging in homosexual sex can be killed. And it’s not just lip service: In July 2005, two teenagers were hanged, convicted of “homosexuality.”

IRAQ: There’s nothing in the law that calls out homosexuality specifically, but that hasn’t stopped militias and local judges from sentencing people to death anyway.

MAURITANIA: Gay Muslim men can face stoning, and gay Muslim women face imprisonment.

NIGERIA: Not only is it illegal for gay people to form clubs or groups, some states in Nigeria have also adopted the death penalty for gay men.

QATAR: Extramarital sex is punishable by death. And since same-sex marriage isn’t legal, that includes all homosexual sex.

SAUDI ARABIA: Lashes, imprisonment and stoning are acceptable punishments for “sodomy” and other homosexual acts.

SOMALIA: Imprisonment may be the law of the land, but that hasn’t stopped some states from enacting the death penalty.

SUDAN: Get caught once: Flogging. Twice: Imprisonment. Three times: Death penalty.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: There’s some confusion about what actually warrants the death penalty (consensual homosexual sex or just rape?), but all sex outside of marriage is banned.

Source: PRIDE, Dustin Diehl, January 14, 2016
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