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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: Cleric calls on govt not to carry out executions... during Ramadhan

A local leader of Indonesia's biggest Islamic organization has called on the Attorney General's Office (AGO) not to carry out the anticipated execution of several drug convicts during the fasting month of Ramadhan, which begins on July 6.

KH. Maslahuddin, the chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) in Cilacap, Central Java, said it was hoped the government would respect the holiness of Ramadhan and give the death row inmates a chance to repent before God in the special month for Muslim people.

"After that, please carry out the execution as quickly as possible. Do not postpone it further," Maslahuddin told journalists last week. 

He said if necessary the executions could even be conducted before Ramadhan. "So that prosecutors, firing squad personnel, the Muslim death row inmates and other parties involved in the execution can be devoted to carrying out their Ramadhan religious services," Maslahuddin said. [Hypocrisy and bigotry rule the world - DPN]

He said it was important that the AGO not repeatedly postpone the execution of the convicts, especially in the case of those whose court ruling was already final and could not be legally challenged, so the punishment would create a deterrent effect on other drug crime perpetrators.

"It should be conducted as soon as possible -- the sooner the better. The execution and threat of the death penalty must be continuously communicated to the public so that potential perpetrators think twice before committing such crimes," said Maslahuddin.

Repeatedly postponing the execution of the sentences would only open room for perpetrators to file appeals or use other legal measures in an effort to escape the death penalty.

Citing an example, Maslahuddin said the second appeal and a repent and forswear request letter filed by drug convict Freddy Budiman at the Cilacap District Court were merely aimed at postponing the execution of his death sentence.

As reported earlier, the AGO confirmed it would soon carry out a 3rd round of executions conducted under President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. However, the AGO has not yet provided details on the date of the execution and the number of inmates to be executed.

The government reportedly delayed the execution due to ongoing legal measures by lawyers of several convicts. The AGO executed 14 people convicted for drug crimes in 2 rounds last year.

Source: Jakarta Post, May 30, 2016

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