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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: President Widodo Orders Investigation Into Drug Lord's Testimony

Freddy Budiman, shortly before his execution on Nusakambangan Island.
Freddy Budiman, shortly before his execution on Nusakambangan Island.
Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo ordered the National Police to investigate claims by a recently executed drug lord that law enforcers have long been involved in drug-trafficking rings in the country.

Rights activist Haris Azhar had published the testimony by Freddy Budiman just hours before his execution at Nusakambangan.

"Investigate it, find out if what is claimed in the testimony is true," Jokowi said in Bali on Thursday (11/08).

However, the president expressed his regret that the information had not come out earlier. "The testimony was given in 2012. Why was it not published then?" Jokowi asked.

Jokowi had instructed National Police chief Gen. Tito Karnavian to assemble a team of investigators to verify Freddy's claims.

According to the president, the teams welcomes assistance from outside the police force. "Anyone who can crack this case should join the team,” Jokowi said.

Source: Jakarta Globe, August 12, 2016

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