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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…

Pakistan: Two executions for murder; two hangings postponed

March 30, 2016: Two murder convicts were hanged in Pakistan in the last two days. 

On March 29, a double murder convict was sent on the gallows in District Jail Sargodha in the wee hours. 

According to the jail authorities, Ghazanfer Ali had murdered his sister and her husband in the name of honour at Riazul Khateeb Colony of Shahpur on October7, 1999. 

Both the high court and supreme courts upheld the trial court’s verdict. His clemency appeal was also turned down by the President of Pakistan. The District and Sessions Court issued his death warrants. 

Later, his dead body was handed over to the heirs for burial. 

A death row prisoner was hanged on March 30 in the District Jail Sialkot early the morning while the execution of two other convicts was postponed after the rival parties reached agreement.

According to details, death row prisoner Ghulam Abbas was hanged for killing a man during a robbery attempt in 1997. His body was handed over to his heirs after the execution.

Meanwhile, the execution of two more convicts, Nasir Mahmood and Tahir Iqbal, was postponed after the rival parties reached agreement. 

Sources: Dunya News, March 30, 2016; The Nation, March 30, 2016

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