FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
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…

Death penalty up to judge: Indonesia

Jessica Kumala Wongso
Jessica Kumala Wongso
The Indonesian government is continuing to shy away from a public guarantee that the death penalty will not be carried out in the case of a woman accused of murdering her friend with a cyanide-laced coffee.

During a joint press conference in Sydney on Wednesday, Justice Minister Michael Keenan said Australia had received written assurance from the Indonesian government that the death penalty would not be carried out in the matter of Jessica Kumala Wongso, thus paving the way for the Australian Federal Police to provide assistance.

But when Indonesian Security Minister Luhut Panjaitan was asked during the same conference to guarantee that undertaking, he replied: "Well, I think we leave it to the judge, the court, but I believe we work it out (the) Indonesian way."

The comments followed annual talks in Sydney between Australia and Indonesia on law and security and come more than a week after Jakarta prosecutors and police stated it was still "possible" Jessica could face the death penalty were she to be convicted of murder.

Jessica is accused of killing her 27-year-old friend Wayan Mirna Salihin in January with a poisoned Vietnamese ice coffee at a popular Jakarta restaurant.

The AFP helped with investigations into the case only on the proviso that the death penalty would not be sought or carried out were Jessica convicted.

In the event that a death sentence was handed down by the judge, Indonesia's president could grant clemency.

In a case that has dominated local press, Jessica is accused of killing 27-year-old Mirna, with whom she studied in Australia - first at Billy Blue College in Sydney and later at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne in 2008.

Jessica met up with Mirna and their friend Hani on January 6 during a trip home to Indonesia.

She allegedly laced Mirna's Vietnamese iced coffee with cyanide and she collapsed and began convulsing moments after sipping it.

Prosecutors have more than 90 days to prepare the indictment against Jessica and hand it to Central Jakarta District Court.

Source: AAP, Karlis Salna and Lauren Farrow, June 8, 2016

- Report an error, an omission: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com - Follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day