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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 -…

Tunisians handed death penalty for murdering policeman

Tunis (AFP) - Three Tunisians have been sentenced to death for murdering an unarmed young policeman as he returned home after his shift, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

A fourth man, who is on the run, was sentenced to 22 years in jail for "inciting and helping to commit terrorist crimes", in reference to the January murder.

The four were convicted Tuesday of cutting the throat of the 23-year-old policeman in El Fahs about 60 kilometres (37 miles) southwest of Tunis.

Following the murder, the interior ministry issued a directive allowing police officers to keep their weapons after their work day ended.

Aged 21 to 26, the three condemned to death were also given prison sentences of between 10 and 22 years for belonging to a terrorist group and incitement to commit terrorist crimes.

No further details were given on the circumstances of the murder, and it was not clear whether those convicted had been charged with belonging to any specific group.

Tunisia has had a moratorium on the death penalty since 1991, and it was unclear how many years the convicts would serve.

The three were also ordered to pay 20,000 dinars (around 9,000 euros/$9,800) to their victim's parents and a total of 25,000 dinars to his five siblings.

Islamist militants have killed dozens of police and soldiers since the 2011 revolution that ousted longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

This year alone, the Islamic State group claimed attacks on the national museum in Tunis and a popular resort hotel, killing a total of 59 tourists, and the suicide bombing of a bus carrying presidential guards, in which 12 of them died.

Source: Agence France-Presse, December 31, 2015

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