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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…

Bangladesh war crimes: 3 get death penalty, 5 jailed for life

The verdict came as the prosecution accused all the 8 of 5 charges relating to crimes like mass murders, abductions, tortures and looting.

3 Islamists were handed down death penalty while 5 others jailed until death by a special tribunal in Bangladesh for committing crimes against humanity during the 1971 liberation war with Pakistan.

A 3-member panel of judges of Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal (ICT-BD) led by Justice Anwarul Haque pronounced the judgement as 2 of the convicts appeared on the dock while 6 others were tried in absentia as they were on the run to evade justice.

The verdict came as the prosecution accused all the eight of five charges relating to crimes like mass murders, abductions, tortures and lootings.

Prosecution lawyers said 6 of the convicts were members of infamous Al-badr auxiliary force of the Pakistani troops during the war and carried out atrocities in northern Jamalpur district.

The 2 others belonged to Razakar, another Bengali-manned armed group raised by Pakistanis during the war.

Manned by activists of fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, which was opposed to Bangladesh's 1971 independence from Pakistan, the Al-Badr appeared as an extremely notorious force by carrying out ruthless atrocities siding with Pakistani troops.

The verdict came amid a nationwide tension following the recent 2 back-to-back Islamist terror attacks in the country following which Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina hinted that Jamaat could be behind the assaults.

Bangladesh has so far executed 4 war crimes convicts since the process began to try the top Bengali perpetrators of 1971 atrocities in line with the electoral commitment of Prime Minister Hasina in 2008.

Source: indianexpress.com, July 18, 2016


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