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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…

Indonesia: Drugs seized in Kerobokan prison raid

Bali's Kerobokan prison
Bali's Kerobokan prison
Hundreds of ecstasy pills and 15 small packages of crystal methamphetamine or shabu-shabu have been seized during a raid at Kerobokan Penitentiary in Bali.

The raid, conducted by a joint security team comprising personnel from the Law and Human Rights Ministry, National Narcotics Agency (BNN), police and military, took place on Thursday morning. 

Two inmates were subsequently taken to the police station on suspicion of dealing drugs within the prison.

Bali Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Hery Wiyanto said the drugs had been found in cells inside the prison. 

He declined to give more details about the two inmates taken to the police station. "We will conduct further investigations to uncover the prison drug ring," Hery said.

In the raid, which started at 4 a.m. local time, the joint team searched all blocks in the prison.

Apart from drugs, several glass pipes or "bongs", sharp weapons and a number of mobile phones were also confiscated in the raid. 

In a urine test, six inmates also tested positive for drugs.

Kerobokan prison warden Slamet Prihantara professed ignorance at how the narcotics had entered the prison, and called on the police to investigate further.

"If any prison guards are involved [in the drug ring], they will be fired," Slamet said.

He added that the prison authorities had recently conducted a string of raids to clean up the prison from drugs.

A shortage of prison guards was partly to blame for the prevalence of drugs, he went on. "We have only 12 prison guards to handle and monitor more than 1,100 inmates," Slamet revealed.

Source: Jakarta Post, April 16, 2016

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