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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…

Malaysia: Foreigners get death penalty for drug trafficking

Malaysia Police Drug Bust
Malaysian Police Drug Bust
Sibu: The High Court here yesterday sentenced a Cambodian man and a Vietnamese woman to death for trafficking dangerous drugs in 2013.

In his judgment, Judge Lee Heng Cheong said having re-evaluated the prosecution's case, the court found that both their testimonies did not cast reasonable doubt.

"In the light of this court's above findings, this court finds that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the 2 charges against both the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

"In the premises, this court finds both the accused guilty of the charges preferred against them respectively. In the light of this court's convictions of both accused, this court thus sentenced both accused to death, by hanging by the necks until they are dead in accordance with the only sentence provided by 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952," he said adding all grounds would be given later.

Cambodian Kong Rin was convicted of trafficking over 2.22kg of methamphetamine in front of the exit gate at the arrival hall of Sibu Airport at 11.38am on Nov 27, 2013.

Vietnamese Nguyen Thi Kim Tuyen was convicted of trafficking over 2.15kg of methamphetamine in front of the exit gate at the arrival hall of Sibu Airport at 11.40am on the same day.

Both charges were framed under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 and punishable under Section 39B(2) of the same Act.

Source: The Borneo Post, May 17, 2016


Malaysia: 1,041 criminals appealing death sentence

A total of 1,041 criminals are currently in the process of appealing their death sentences, says Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nancy Shukri.

According to Nancy, their death sentences have not been carried out because their cases are in the process of appeal in court or their respective State Pardons Boards.

This was stated in a written reply to Ramkarpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor) in Parliament today after he asked about the number of criminals facing the death penalty and whether the government intends to carry out a moratorium on their sentences, considering its announced intention to eliminate the death penalty.

"Malaysian Prison Department statistics, as of May 16, show that 1,041 criminals have been sentenced to death for crimes related to murder, drug offences, weapons and kidnapping," said Nancy.

To Ramkarpal's question on the moratorium on the death penalty, Nancy said that a decision had not yet been made because the government was still conducting studies on the mandatory death penalty via the Attorney-General's Office on the related legal issues, policies and its effectiveness.

"A policy decision on the matter will be based on the result of the studies," said Nancy.

According to Amnesty International's Death Sentences and Executions 2015 Report, at least 1,634 people were executed last year. This represented a 54% increase in the number of executions compared with 2014.

In Malaysia, the mandatory death penalty is handed down for certain drug offences, murder, use of firearms and treason.

Source: freemalaysiatoday.com, May 16, 2016

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