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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…

Egypt: Military court upholds death sentences for 8 civilians

Cairo, Egypt
Cairo, Egypt
12 others sentenced to life in prison, 6 others to 15 years and 2 were acquitted

The West Cairo Military Court upheld on Sunday death sentences for 8 civilians and sentenced 12 others to life in prison in the case publicly known as the "specialised intelligence committee" case.

6 defendants were sentenced to 15 years in prison and 2 others were acquitted. 2 of those given the death penalty were sentenced in absentia.

The Sunday verdict came after it had previously been postponed three times since the court initially referred the files of 8 of the defendants to the grand mufti, a procedural step prior to approving final death sentences, on 7 February.

For 2 sessions the reason for postponement was that the mufti did not send back his judgment on the case, which is used for consulting and not binding to the court.

Some of the defendants in the case were considered by rights groups and activists as having been "forcibly disappeared" before being shown in a video, released by the Ministry of Defence in July 2015, confessing to being members of a terrorist network and claiming responsibility for attacks on state facilities and personnel.

Source: Daily News Egypt, May 29, 2016

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