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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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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 -…

Ghani should not sign execution orders of terror convicts: Amnesty International

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Amnesty International has urged President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani not to sign the execution orders of prisoners convicted of terror offences.

The appeal by Amnesty International comes as the Taliban group made a plea to international organizations to intervene and stop the Afghan government to implement death sentences.

In its latest release titled "Afghanistan: The death penalty is no solution to terrorism" Amnesty International said 'Afghanistan's President Ashraf Ghani should not sign execution orders."

"By hastily seeking retribution for the horrific bombings that killed over 64 people in Kabul last month, the government of Afghanistan's plans to execute those convicted of terror offences will neither bring the victims the justice they deserve, nor Afghanistan the security it needs," said Jameen Kaur, Amnesty International's Deputy Director for South Asia.

"There is no evidence that the death penalty serves as a deterrent, and there are fears that it will only serve to perpetuate a cycle of violence without tackling any of the root causes."

"The death penalty is a cruel and irreversible punishment. In a context where there are very serious questions about the fairness and transparency of the legal process, the use of torture by security forces to extract confessions, and the narrow window for appeal, there is a particular risk of mistakes being made that cannot be corrected."

"Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the nature or circumstances of the crime; guilt, innocence or other characteristics of the individual; or the method used by the state to carry out the execution."

This comes as a spokesman for the Presidential Palace said last week that a list of militants convicted of terror offences has been forwarded to President Ghani.

Source: Khaama Press, May 5, 2016

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