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America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

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With Justice Anthony Kennedy's retirement, the national fight to abolish capital punishment will have to go local.
When the Supreme Court revived capital punishment in 1976, just four years after de facto abolishing it, the justices effectively took ownership of the American death penalty and all its outcomes. They have spent the decades since then setting its legal and constitutional parameters, supervising its general implementation, sanctioning its use in specific cases, and brushing aside concerns about its many flaws.
That unusual role in the American legal system is about to change. With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement from the court this summer, the Supreme Court will lose a heterodox jurist whose willingness to cross ideological divides made him the deciding factor in many legal battles. In cases involving the Eighth Amendment’s prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment, his judgment often meant the difference between life and death for hundreds of death-row pr…

Saudi Arabia executes own citizen for murder

Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Public execution in Saudi Arabia (file photo)
Riyadh: Saudi Arabia on Thursday executed one of its citizens for murder, bringing to 55 the number of convicts put to death this year.

Authorities in the southwestern region of Aseer carried out the death sentence against Owaidhah Al Saadi, the interior ministry said in a statement.

A court found him guilty of shooting dead another Saudi following a dispute, it said.

Most executions in Saudi Arabia are done by beheading with a sword.

The kingdom on January 2 executed 47 people in a single day for terrorism.

According to an AFP tally, Saadi is among eight other locals and foreigners put to death this year.

Last year the kingdom executed 153 people, mostly for drug trafficking or murder, according to an AFP tally.

The number of executions in Saudi Arabia in 2015 was the highest for two decades.

The kingdom practises a strict legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

Source: Agence France-Presse, January 28, 2016

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