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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's Attorney-General says death row inmate executions' imminent return just a 'joke'

Bali's Kerobokan prison
Bali's Kerobokan prison
The prospect of Indonesia reverting back to death row prisoner executions in a matter of weeks has been clarified as only "a joke".

A spokesman for Indonesian Attorney-General HM Prasetyo said the minister was "joking" when he recently said the nation may resume executions after the rainy season.

Indonesian ministers have repeatedly said the nation would begin executing death row prisoners when its economy picks up.

Asked for a specific date, Attorney-General HM Prasetyo told Indonesia's MetroTV: "We will have to see because it's rainy season now. We have to wait until the weather get better."

The wet season normally ends in April.

A spokesman for the minister told the ABC the minister was not being serious.

"He means the execution is a priority, but it needs preparation and of course the priority for Indonesia currently is the economy," he said.

Indonesia has not killed any death row prisoners for almost 12 months and authorities said the country would resume executions when the economy improved.

Australians ringleaders of the Bali Nine, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, were executed by firing squad in Indonesia in April last year.

Source: abc.net.au, Adam Harvey, April 7, 2016

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