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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 -…

Belarus: Triple Murderer Sentenced to Death

Minsk, Belarus
Minsk, Belarus
February 16, 2016: Belarus sentenced to death a man convicted of killing three people, the day after the European Union (EU) announced it was lifting sanctions against the ex-Soviet country for an improved human rights record.

It was the third death penalty handed down in Belarus since November 2015.

The 32-year-old man, whose name was not released, was sentenced by a court in Minsk which had found him guilty of five crimes including the three murders, announced Yulia Liaskova, spokeswoman for the Belarusian high court.

These crimes were "committed with particular cruelty," she said.

The two other recent death sentence cases in Belarus were in January when Gennadi Yakovitsky, 49, was convicted of killing his companion and in November, when Ivan Kulesh, 29, was found guilty of killing three saleswomen.

The latest death sentence came after EU foreign ministers agreed on November 15 to lift nearly all sanctions on Belarus, including against strongman President Alexander Lukashenko, after improvements in the country's human rights record.

EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said that Belarus was "showing a positive trend which we want to encourage."

At the same time the European Union is opposed to capital punishment and abolishing the death penalty is a pre-condition for a country becoming a member of the bloc.

More than 400 people have been condemned to death in Belarus since the 1990s, according to estimates by human rights groups. 

Source: Agence France-Presse, Feb. 17, 2016

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