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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…

Saudi executes Jordanian drug smuggler

Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Public execution in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia on Thursday put to death a Jordanian convicted of drug trafficking, in the kingdom's 91st execution this year.

Maher al-Ghurabli had been found guilty of smuggling amphetamine pills into the kingdom, the interior ministry said in a statement.

Authorities carried out the sentence against him in the northwestern region of Tabuk, which borders his Jordanian homeland.

Most people put to death in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Ghurabli's is the 91st execution of a local or foreigner this year, according to an AFP tally.

The executions include 47 for "terrorism" on a single day, January 2.

Murder and drug trafficking cases account for the majority of Saudi executions.

Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia had the 3rd highest number of people put to death last year -- at least 158.

That was far behind Pakistan, which executed 326, and Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran, which executed at least 977, said Amnesty, whose figures exclude secretive China.

Source: ahram.org, May 7, 2016

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