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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…

China: Kiwi drugs-accused Peter Gardner could face death penalty

Peter Gardner was charged with drug trafficking after being caught with 30kg of methamphetamine in China.
Peter Gardner was charged with drug trafficking after
being caught with 30kg of methamphetamine in China.

The New Zealander allegedly caught trying to leave China with $25 million of methamphetamine is expecting to find out his fate within the next month.

Peter Gardner was stopped at Guangzhou Baiyan International Airport in 2014, while travelling back to his home in Australia with then-girlfriend Kalynda Davis.

Gardner claimed ownership of the bags when questioned – but denied the drugs found inside were his.

He said he had been duped into carrying the 30kgs of methamphetamine, and thought he was transporting an order of bodybuilding peptides including Melanotan.

The pair were arrested, but while Davis was later freed and sent home, Gardner was locked up.

He went to trial in front of a panel of three judges last May, and a verdict had been expected within a few weeks of the one-day hearing's conclusion.

If found guilty, Gardner could face the death penalty.

Gardner's parents, Sandra Cornelius and Russell Gardner, travelled to China for the hearing and were granted two short visits with their son.

After Gardner's arrest, it emerged it was his second trip to China - he had previously made one other journey to bring back the legal, performance-enhancing peptides.

Gardner's lawyer Craig Tuck says his client was coping well with the extended wait for a verdict.

"Peter is very thankful for the love and support of his friends and family in New Zealand and Australia."

Tuck said he was now expecting a verdict by the end of April.

If convicted, there would be a 10-day period to appeal, he said.

Source: stuff.co.nz, March 27, 2016

Related content:

Death Penalty News: China: Sydney man Peter Gardner to face ...Apr 30, 2015 ... Sydney man Peter Gardner, 25, has had his death penalty case in a Chinese courtroom brought forward by almost 6 months and will go on trial ...
Australian cop's daughter Kalynda Davis and Peter Gardner may ...Dec 8, 2014 ... Australian cop's daughter Kalynda Davis and Peter Gardner may face firing squad in China for alleged drug trafficking ...
Death Penalty News: China: Customs officials believe Gardner ...Dec 15, 2014 ... Kiwi builder Peter Gardner's chances of avoiding the death penalty in China have rapidly deteriorated with local customs officials revealing that ...
Death Penalty News: Sydney pair faces the death penalty over ...Dec 2, 2014 ... Sydney pair Peter Gardner and Kalynda Davis only met a few weeks ago, but have been charged together by Chinese authorities after ...
Death Penalty News: April 2015Apr 30, 2015 ... A dual New Zealand/Australian citizen, Gardner was arrested at .... China: Sydney man Peter Gardner to face Guangzhou court over drug ...
Death Penalty News: Parents of New Zealander facing execution in ...Jun 1, 2015 ... Peter Gardner, 26, was detained on November 8 when Customs allegedly found more than 30 kilograms of methamphetamine in his luggage ...

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