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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…

In a first, drug dealer gets death penalty in West Bengal

Kolkata street
Kolkata street
Almost 14 years after he was arrested, a Barasat court has ordered Karaya resident Anwar Rehman - who was found guilty of supplying heroin in Kolkata and was arrested with over 53.5 kg of it- to be hanged till death. 

For the 1st time a court in Bengal has awarded death sentence in a NDPS case.

Rehman was arrested by the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India. Anirban Das, the sixth additional district session judge gave death sentence to Anshar Rahaman (62) and sentenced his accomplice Dipak Giri (47) to 30 years of rigorous imprisonment.

NCB officials explained that a death penalty is usually awarded in rarest of circumstances - gene rally when the quantity recovered is huge and the accused is a repeat offender. In 2002, the cost of the confiscated drug was estimated to over Rs 53.5 crore.

Officials in the NCB said that their charge sheet carried enough evidence that prove Rehman had links with some "influential people" in the city. His supplies would come from Pakistan through Rajasthan. While carrying out the probe, the NCB officials got in touch with narcotic officials in Bangladesh, Nepal, Australia some other countries.

Officials said that Rehman had once gone to Switzerland in early 2002 and stayed there for 6 months. "He claimed that he had gone on a holiday with his son but had no evidence to suggest that he had he met drug dealers there,''explained an officer.

Rehman had reportedly invested Rs 1.5 crore to procure the heroin that was seized by the sleuths. 

NCB officers said Rehman had paid the money to his Rajasthan contacts in mid-September in 2002. "We are trying to find out how he got so much money to invest," the NCB director said.

Source: The Times of India, April 8, 2016

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