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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…

Indonesian government uncertain on use of death penalty in 2016

JAKARTA: The Indonesian government is yet to decide on whether it will execute drug traffickers this year, but has said it will focus more on improving the economy for the next seven to eight months.

“We’ll see what happens. We are still studying this very carefully. Maybe we could [continue with executions] this year, or maybe next year,” Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Luhut Pandjaitan said in Jakarta on Friday.

Luhut said Indonesia had been disturbed by noisy, annoying comments from the public about the death penalty’s implementation. “So we have to calculate very carefully when using the death penalty,” he said.

According to 2015 data from the National Narcotics Agency, there are 14 drug convicts currently waiting to face the firing squad. 

Last year Indonesia put to death 14 drug convicts, including two Australians that were part of the Bali Nine group, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan.

Source: The Jakarta Post, March 12 2016

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