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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 -…

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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