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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…

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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