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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: Police prepare security ahead of executions on Nusakambangan

Indonesian police personnel getting ready ahead of the execution of eight death row inmates on Nusakambangan island in April 2015.
Indonesian police personnel getting ready ahead of the execution
of eight death row inmates on Nusakambangan island in April 2015.
Cilacap Police are preparing security measures for the execution of several death row inmates convicted of drug charges on Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java.

Cilacap Police chief Adj. Sr. Comr. Ulung Sampurna Jaya said the third batch of executions carried out during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s administration would be conducted in the near future. The police chief said, however, he had not yet received an official order to prepare the executions.

“It will be conducted in a matter of weeks,” said Ulung.

“Therefore, we have prepared everything, including security teams and Mobile Brigade personnel that can deploy at anytime to carry out the executions,” he told thejakartapost.com on Tuesday.

Ulung went on to say that a number of locations around Nusakambangan were guarded tightly by Brimob personnel. “Especially Pasir Putih prison, which has maximum security,” said Ulung.

Hundreds of drug convicts and convicted terrorists, including several death row inmates, are imprisoned at Pasir Putih. Convicted terrorist Abu Bakar Ba’asyir served his sentence at Pasir Putih prison before he was moved to Gunung Sindur prison in Bogor, West Java, on Saturday.

Earlier, Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo told journalists in Jakarta that the third batch executions would certainly be conducted. Those set to be executed comprise foreign nationals and Indonesian citizens. Prasetyo refused to give details on when the executions would be conducted.

“Any death row inmate whose legal rights have been fulfilled will be executed,” said Prasetyo at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta at the beginning of April.

National Narcotics Agency (BNN) chief Comr. Gen. Budi Waseso recently called for the execution of death row inmates on drug smuggling charges. He asked the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) to execute 151 drug dealers sentenced to death by the courts.

The AGO executed 14 death row inmates throughout 2015. The first batch of executions was conducted on Jan. 18, 2015. Six death row inmates were executed by firing squad on Nusakambangan and at Brimob headquarters in Boyolali, Central Java.

Eight death row inmates were executed in the second round of executions on April 29, 2015. Seven of the convicts were foreigners -- two Australians named Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Raheem Agbaje Salami, Okwudili Oyatanze and Silvester Obiekwe Nwaolise, alias Mustofa, from Nigeria, Rodrigo Gularte from Brazil and Martin Anderson, alias Belo, from Ghana. Mary Jane Fiesta Veloso from the Philippines was initially listed for execution but her execution was postponed just minutes before she was set to face the firing squad.

Source: The Jakarta Post, April 20, 2016

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