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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

Indonesia to Execute Convicts From Nigeria and Zimbabwe This Year: Attorney General

President Joko Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year
"President Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year."
Jakarta. Indonesia plans to execute this year at least two foreign convicts, one from Nigeria and another from Zimbabwe, the attorney general said on Wednesday.

President Joko Widodo has pledged to increase the number of executions this year and next as part of his crackdown on drugs.

Asked if there were any foreigners on the list of convicts to be executed, Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo told reporters: “We have foreigners, among them from Nigeria and Zimbabwe.”

He did not elaborate on the crimes of which they were convicted.


A 59-year-old British women, Lindsay Sandiford, was sentenced to death after being convicted in 2013 of trying to smuggle cocaine worth $2.5 million into the country.

A Philippine maid, Mary Jane Veloso, got a last-minute reprieve last year in response to a request from Manila after an employment recruiter, whom Veloso had accused of planting drugs in her luggage, gave herself up to police in the Philippines.

Last year Indonesia executed 14 people, mostly foreign drug traffickers. Prasetyo previously said at least 16 prisoners would be executed this year and more than double that number next year.

Source: Reuters, July 14, 2016


Attorney General Should Not Hesitate on Executions: Lawmaker

Jakarta. House of Representatives Commission III member Ruhut Sitompul said all state institutions partnering with the commission, which oversees legal affairs, have made the maximum effort to enforce the law, despite some having failed to prosecute suspects or fulfill their legal mandates.

He said one example is the performance of the Attorney General's Office (AGO) under the leadership of H.M. Prasetyo, who has hesitated to order the execution of death-row inmates convicted for drug offences.

"I call on the attorney general, in regard to drug crime, that if there has been a legal review, there is no need for another. One review, then execute," Ruhut said in Jakarta on Thursday (14/07).

He reminded the attorney general that legal reviews should not be used to block executions, as the death penalty is still considered legal punishment in Indonesia.

The Democratic Party lawmaker also criticized the AGO's losses in pretrial motions, specifically with regard to those cases that have been in the public spotlight.

"I think Mr. Prasetyo has also worked hard, but when it comes to pretrial motions, as I have always said, [prosecutors] should present two forms of strong evidence when declaring someone a suspect. If they don't [have any evidence], don't [declare someone a suspect]," Ruhut said.

He said President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo should assess law enforcement efforts, based on the fact that every state institution should abide by his decisions.

Source: Jakarta Globe, July 14, 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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