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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…

Saudi Arabia: Death penalty sought for 28 espionage suspects

Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Public beheading in Saudi Arabia
Manama: A government prosecutor called for the death penalty for 28 suspects -- 27 Saudis and one Afghan -- and for severe jail terms for the remaining four, three Saudis and one Iranian.

A business analyst and a security serviceman are among the 32 people put on trial in Saudi Arabia this week for spying for Iran.

The 32 suspects are accused of high treason against the kingdom by collaborating with Iranian intelligence.

The security serviceman worked for a sector tasked with the security and safety of pilgrims, the court in the capital Riyadh heard as the last eight suspects, all Saudi nationals, went on trial on Tuesday, Saudi daily Okaz reported.

The serviceman asked the judges to name a lawyer to defend him, explaining that he did not have the financial resources to hire an attorney.

However, a judge told him that he would have to pay the state back in case it was found out that he was financially able to hire a lawyer, he changed his mind and said he would have his own lawyer, Okaz said.

Another suspect who pleaded to be bailed out was told that he needed the approval of the interior minister and that he should fill in an application.

Source: Gulf News, Feb. 25, 2016

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