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Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Mom of killer on death row for Collin County murder makes case to pope

Pope Francis talks with Lidia Guerrero, the Argentine mother of a man on death row in Texas
Pope Francis talks with Lidia Guerrero, the Argentine mother of a man on
death row in Texas.
VATICAN CITY -- Pope Francis has met for a second time with the Argentine mother of a man on death row for the 1995 slaying of a Plano man.

The Vatican announced the meeting Saturday between Francis and Lidia Guerrero but gave no details.

After their first meeting, in Rome in 2014, the mother said that the pope, who is also Argentine, assured her of his prayers for Victor Hugo Saldano, who was convicted in 1996 for abducting and fatally shooting Paul Ray King, 46.

Francis has vigorously promoted Vatican teaching saying capital punishment is morally unjustified.

Saldano entered the United States illegally in the early 1990s.

The day laborer from Argentina became the first person sentenced to death from that country since it won independence from Spain in 1809.

Saldano and an accomplice, Jorge Chavez, 27, abducted King from a Sack 'n Save supermarket Nov. 25, 1995, and killed him later at Lake Lavon.

Guerrero has said her son is guilty of murder but has been driven insane during his time on death row and has already paid for his crime.

Chavez, the accomplice, received a life sentence in the case. He will be eligible for parole in 2035.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, AP, June 12, 2016

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