Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Amnesty International Slams Indonesia's Plans to Execute Priosners on Death-Row

Nusakambangan island, Central Java, Indonesia
Nusakambangan island, Central Java, Indonesia
Jakarta. Amnesty International on Wednesday (11/05) slammed Indonesia's plans to execute death-row inmates, following recent reports of inmates being moved to Nusakambangan prison, where prisoners typically await their execution.

The executions are believed to take place this month as Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo has said that preparations ahead of the third round of executions are on track with probably 14 death row inmates on the list, including 10 foreigners. The government has not announced the names of the inmates, although some names have been speculated by the media.

Last Sunday, three local prisoners, Suryanto (53), Agus Hadi (53) and Pudjo Lestari (42), were moved from Tembesi pison in Batam, Riau Islands, to Nusakambangan prison in what appears to be part of preparations for executions.

Amnesty said the three prisoners were sentenced to death in 2007 for being convicted of attempting to smuggle benzodiazepine pills from Malaysia, a drug trafficking offense which does not meet the requisite "most-serious crimes" threshold under international human rights law to warrant the death penalty.

“It is devastating to hear that three more people are facing execution. The death penalty is a cruel, inhumane and degrading punishment that has no place in today’s justice system,” Amnesty International crisis campaigns coordinator Diana Sayed said on Wednesday.

Amnesty, who has campaigned for the abolition of the death penalty for more than four decades in more than 140 countries, called on Indonesian authorities to immediately halt any executions plans.

“The death penalty is always a violation of human rights and can never be condoned under any circumstances. State sanctioned killing only serves to continue the cycle of violence and we know it doesn’t work as a deterrent for further crimes,” she added.

Amnesty also urged Indonesia to establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, a policy previously upheld during Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono's administration.

Last year, most of the executed inmates were foreigners, prompting a wave of international condemnation of Indonesia's use of capital punishment as well as diplomatic pressure from many countries.

After the executions, Australia temporarily recalled its ambassador to Indonesia following the execution of Bali Nine duo Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan. The relationship has since been restored.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 11, 2016

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