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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…

Japan: Killer of 6-year-old Kobe girl gets death penalty

Yasuhiro Kimino
Yasuhiro Kimino
KOBE – The Kobe District Court on Friday gave the death sentence to a man who killed a 6-year-old girl in the city in 2014.

Yasuhiro Kimino, 49, lured the first-grader to his home by asking her to sit for a painting. He then strangled and stabbed her, dismembered her body and placed it in plastic bags, prosecutors say.

The prosecutors sought the death penalty, saying Kimino showed a brutal disregard for human life.

Kimino was charged with abduction for obscene purposes, murder, damage to a corpse and abandoning a corpse.

In their closing arguments outlined at Kobe District Court, the prosecutors termed Kimino’s criminal motivation “selfish,” saying there was no reason to spare the defendant from the death sentence as he had “a strong propensity to crime and it would be very difficult to correct him.”

The defendant admitted killing the girl and dismembering and abandoning her body in the first hearing of his trail Monday, but denied he abducted her for the purpose of molesting her.

The girl’s mother told the court Thursday she would never forgive the man.

The victim went missing after she returned home from elementary school in Kobe on Sept. 11, 2014, and her dismembered body was found on Sept. 23.

Police arrested Kimino, who lived locally, the following day.

The case was tried by presiding Judge Takeshi Samo, two other professional judges and six lay judges.

Source: The Japan Times, March 18, 2016

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