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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: Firing squad personnel dispatched to Nusakambangan

Hundreds of firing squad personnel from the Central Java Police’s Mobile Brigade were taken to Nusakambangan prison island in Cilacap on Tuesday evening. 

They were transported to the prison island using several police trucks at around 8:00 p.m. local time via Wijayapura Quay in Cilacap. 

It took only five minutes for the firing squad team to reach Nusakambangan via the prison island’s motor vessel, the KM Pengayoman IV.

The firing squad’s arrival indicates the imminent executions of several drug convicts, the third round of executions since President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo took office.

The Central Java Police said they had prepared a Brimob firing squad team comprising 150 personnel for the third round of executions. “Each condemned convict will be handled by one firing squad, which consists of 12 Brimob personnel. Ten will acts as executioners while the two remaining officers are assigned to carry flashlights,” Central Java Police spokesperson Sr.Comr.Liliek Darmanto told The Jakarta Post.

Nusakambangan has been closed to family visits since Monday, ahead of the executions, which reportedly will be conducted early on Saturday. 

Nusakambangan is now restricted to unauthorized personnel, except families of the condemned, prison personnel and parties related to the executions. 

Hundreds of police personnel are on guard starting from the entrance to Wijayapura Quay, the only access to the prison island.

“On the day itself, we will dispatch around 1,500 personnel to secure the executions so everything runs smoothly,” Cilacap Police spokesperson Adj.Comr.Bintoro told journalists.

Source: The Jakarta Post, Agus Maryono, July 27, 2016

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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed, but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." - Oscar Wilde

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