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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 -…

Indonesia: Human Rights Watchdog Calls for End to Capital Punishment

Indonesia's Special Police Force
Indonesia's Special Police Force
As preparations for the third round of executions continue on Nusakambangan Island near Cilacap, Central Java, human rights activists and legal academics have criticized Indonesia's continued use of capital punishment.

Respublica Political Institute executive director Benny Sabdo said the death penalty is a violation of human rights, inhumane and ineffective as a form of punishment.

"The death sentence still applies in the United States, but violent crime rates are still high there. Meanwhile in Canada, where capital punishment has been abolished, crime rates have receded," the law professor said on Wednesday (18/05).

Benny believes capital punishment equals man playing God.

"Punishments for crime should not violate basic human rights, and should not degrade human dignity in any way," said the professor, who also believes that the death penalty does not serve as a deterrent to crime.

According to Amnesty International, Indonesia is 1 of 37 United Nations member states that continue to use the death penalty in law and practice, while 102 have completely abolished it for all crimes.

The University of Indonesia constitutional law alumni emphasized that death row inmates are not objects and therefore still entitled to basic human rights. He added that Indonesia must be consistent in enforcing human rights for all.

Besides Indonesians, citizens of China, Nigeria and Zimbabwe are expected to be on the list of inmates facing the firing squad in the third round of executions.

Source: Jakarta Globe, May 18, 2016

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