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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…

Women more resistant to beheading: Saudi Executioner

Convicted women sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia have been more resistant to beheading than men, prompting authorities to change the execution method to shooting, a well-known Saudi executioner has said.

Abu Bandar Al Bishi, a massive man who has beheaded scores of convicted criminals in public places in the Gulf Kingdom, said most of those brought to the execution area appear to be in “trance” ahead of their death.

Quoted by the Saudi daily Sabq, he denied social media reports that those sentenced to death are drugged just before their execution.

“Those brought for execution are not drugged..there is no medical intervention in their execution…they just appear to be in trance or half dead,” Bishi said.

“As for women, they are more resistant to execution than men…we used to behead them but the verdict has been changed to executing them by shooting.

He said many convicts make requests just before their execution, adding that one asked for a cigarette. “Of course we did not give him a cigarette…if he had asked to pray before his death, then it would have been much better.”

Bishi said he uses a gun to execute women by shooting them in the head, adding that he does not stick to doctor’s instructions to shoot them in the heart.

“The doctor draws a mark towards the heart on the convict’s back…but I shoot them in the head because the bullet may miss the heart target if the convict moves.

Source: Emirates 24/7, May 1, 2016

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