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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…

Nebraska death penalty foes to launch statewide campaign

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - Nebraska death penalty opponents are launching a statewide campaign with a new name.

The group Retain a Just Nebraska will announce the next phase of its campaign Wednesday at the Capitol. 

The organization previously operated under the name Nebraskans for Public Safety.

Retain a Just Nebraska will ask voters to reject a proposal that would keep the death penalty legal in Nebraska. 

Lawmakers abolished capital punishment in May, but death penalty supporters responded with a petition drive that suspended the new law until voters decide the issue in the November general election.

Nebraska currently has 10 men on death row. 

Gov. Pete Ricketts has said the state will not pursue any executions until voters decide whether to keep the death penalty.

Source: The Washington Times, Associated Press, Feb. 23, 2016

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