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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…

Indonesia: Police Officer Arrested for Smuggling Drugs Into Banten Prison

Bali's Kerobokan prison
Bali's Kerobokan prison
Serang, Banten. An officer from the Serang District Police in Banten has been arrested for allegedly smuggling drugs to two inmates serving time at a local prison.

Prison officials became suspicious when the police officer, identified only as Brig. H.D., arrived at the prison at 15:00 on Sunday (31/1) to visit two inmates identified as R.J.U. and F.T.R. even though it was not visiting hour. 

The officer however insisted, flashing his police identification card to correctional officials claiming that he was on official police business to question the inmates.

The prison officials heeded to the request but those monitoring the visit noticed the police officer handing over a cigarette packet to the two inmates. 

After the police officer left, the guards confiscated the packet and discovered “a tiny package of crystal methamphetamine inside,” according to Dodi, one of the prison guards.

The guards then alerted the Banten Provincial Police about the discovery, which then moved to arrest H.D. on Monday.

“[Brig. H.D. is now] being detained at the Banten Police headquarters. We are still investigating the case,” Banten Police spokesman Adj. Sr. Comr. Ermayadi said.

Ermayadi added that if proven guilty, H.D. would be fired from the police force and jailed for drug trafficking.

Source: The Jakarta Globe, Laurens Dami, Feb. 2, 2016

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