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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…

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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