FEATURED POST

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…

Khartoum sentences 22 South Sudanese to death

Khartoum, Sudan
Khartoum, Sudan
An anti-terrorism court in Khartoum has sentenced 22 South Sudanese nationals to death and 3 others to life in prison on Wednesday for belonging to a militant group in Darfur.

"The judge sentenced them to death by hanging on charges of terrorism, fighting the state, bearing arms against the state and undermining the constitutional order," Mahjoub Dawoud, defense attorney, told Reuters.

The defendants belong to the Justice and Equality Movement, a rebel group based in Darfur that took up arms against the Sudanese government in 2003, complaining that their region was being marginalized.

The group, led by Bakhit Abdul Karim (Dabjo), signed a peace agreement with the Khartoum government in 2013.

Shortly after the agreement, the group handed in its weapons to the government and in return the Sudanese president, Omar Hassan al-Bashir, pardoned members of the group.

However, the presidential pardon did not include the 25 South Sudanese nationals. The government considered them foreign fighters and brought them to trial for bearing arms against Sudan.

Lawyers of the defendants said they will appeal the court decision next week, calling the Sudanese authorities to treat their clients as prisoners of war.

Sudan regularly accuses its neighbor of backing insurgents in its Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions.

South Sudan, which split away from Sudan in 2011 after decades of civil war fueled by ethnicity and oil, dismisses the allegations and accuses Khartoum of arming militias in its territory.

Source: Reuters, April 9, 2016

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