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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Islamist arrested for violent murder of Bangladeshi LGBT editor Xulhaz Mannad

Xulhaz Mannad
Xulhaz Mannad
The murder of magazine editor Xulhaz Mannad shocked Bangladesh late April: Police have announced they may have found one of his killers.

Mannad, 35, was found hacked to death and shot in Dhaka, Bangladesh in a series of attacks on Bangladesh’s intellectual and atheist community.

He was the editor of Bangladesh’s first gay and lesbian magazine, Roopbaan. With Mahbub Tonoy, 25, who was also murdered, he organized the Rainbow Rally on Bengali New Year, 14 April.

They both also worked for the government aid organization, USAID.

The two were killed in brutal fashion by six men armed with machetes and guns. Police have now arrested suspected Islamic militant Shariful Islam Shihab, 37, believing him to be one of the assailants.

‘We’ve arrested one man in connection with the murder of Xulhaz Mannan,’ Dhaka police spokesman Maruf Hossain Sorder said in a press conference.

Shibab is thought to be a member of Harkatul Jihad: a radical Islamist group banned in Bangladesh.

An elderly Buddhist monk was found hacked to death on Saturday in a temple in Bandarban. Three men are currently being held in connection with the killing.

Homosexuality is illegal in Bangladesh and is rarely acknowledged.

Source: Gay Star News, May 15, 2016

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