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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

BNN Busts Drug Couriers Carrying 25 Kilos of Meth

Medan. The National Narcotics Agency, or BNN, seized 25 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine and arrested four men in the year's biggest drug bust in Medan, North Sumatra on Monday (22/02).

Brig. Gen. Arman Depari, BNN deputy head for narcotics eradication, said the four suspects were captured at a bus terminal on Jalan Sisimangaraja, adding that one of them was injured after being shot by anti-narcotic officers.

“The arrested suspects are being questioned,” Arman told reporters without revealing their identities.

The suspects allegedly have ties to an international narcotics syndicate in Malaysia and other countries, Arman said, adding that Aceh and Riau are believed to be the base of this syndicate.

The bust marks this year's first large raid after the BNN seized 161 kilograms of crystal methamphetamine in Karawang, West Java, last December.

The drugs confiscated in December were found packed in boxes in the back of a truck that was transporting them from Surabaya to Jakarta.

Drug courier Tommy claimed he had received the contraband from someone in Surabaya and was meant to take them to a Chinese national identified as Chen Bin in Ancol, North Jakarta.

Source: Jakarta Globe, Feb. 22, 2016

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