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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…

Indonesia: Executions near after prisoner loses appeal

Nusakambangan Island, Indonesia
Nusakambangan Island, Indonesia
Third round of executions moves ever nearer after Indonesian court rejects case review from drug lord

Indonesia's Supreme Court has rejected a case review filed by a convict on death row scheduled to be executed with several foreign nationals in the country's next round of executions.

Supreme Court spokesman Ridwan Mansyur confirmed Friday that an appeal received by the court July 13 from the lawyer of Freddy Budiman -- sentenced to death by a Jakarta court in 2012 after being found guilty of smuggling 1.4 million ecstasy pills from China -- had been lost.

"Yes, it is true that his case review has been rejected," kompas.com reported him as saying.

Attorney General Muhammad Prasetyo has previously said that Budiman was on a list of death row convicts to be executed in an upcoming 3rd round of executions, and they would not take place until the court had made its decision.

Last year, President Joko Widodo's administration executed 14 prisoners in 2 stages, inviting scathing criticism from the countries involved and the wider international community.

On Friday, Prasetyo expressed happiness at the decision, saying the public had been waiting for the news so that the executions could go ahead.

"It was what we expected. The community had been waiting for this," he was reported as telling reporters at his office.

In a budget meeting in the House of Representatives last month, Prasetyo said it plans to execute 18 drug dealers this year, although he declined to name them.

"I forgot their citizenship. There are many," detik.com quoted him as saying.

When pressed earlier this month, metrotvnews.com reported he had said that inmates from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Indonesia will be on the list, but added there were none from Europe.

Kompas.com has reported that all preparations for the executions have now been completed, including preparing clergy, a firing squad and doctors.

It quoted Prasetyo as saying that the executions would once again be carried out in Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap, Central Java.

After being accused of coordinating drug trafficking operations from inside his prison of Bogor, West Java, Budiman was moved to the Central Java prison.

Source: Anadolu Agency, July 23, 2016


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