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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: Three executed for drug trafficking

Public beheading in KSA (file photo)
Public beheading in KSA (file photo)
February 17, 2016: Saudi Arabia beheaded one of its citizens and two Yemeni nationals on charges of drug trafficking, bringing to 63 the number of decapitations in the kingdom since the start of year.

Saudi national, Daifallah al-Omrani, was executed in the northern region of Tabuk after his conviction for smuggling amphetamines, the Saudi Interior Ministry said in a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency.

Yemeni nationals Ahmed Mubarak and Abdul Salam al-Jamali were beheaded in the southwestern city of Jizan, on charges of attempting to smuggle hashish into the kingdom.

According to an AFP count, Saudi Arabia carried out 153 executions, including 71 foreign nationals, in 2015. 

This number of executions in terms of annual basis in Saudi Arabia has been unseen since 1995.

The kingdom practises a strict Islamic legal code under which murder, drug trafficking, armed robbery, rape, homosexuality and apostasy are all punishable by death.

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

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