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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 -…

UN: Maldives should stick to death penalty moratorium

Hussein Humam Ahmed, 22, convicted of killing MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in 2012
Hussein Humam Ahmed, 22, convicted of killing MP Dr Afrasheem Ali in 2012
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein says the country's movement toward resuming executions is "deeply regrettable."

The United Nations' human rights chief is urging the Maldives to stick to a decades-long moratorium on imposing the death penalty, citing fears that three men are at "imminent risk" of execution.

Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said in a statement issued in Geneva on Tuesday that the Maldives long provided "important leadership" in efforts to end the use of the death penalty and it is "deeply regrettable that a series of steps have been taken to resume executions in the country."

In June, the Supreme Court confirmed the death penalty for a 22-year-old man convicted of killing a politician in 2012.

Shortly before that, the government had amended rules to allow execution by lethal injection or hanging, indicating that the country's unofficial six-decade moratorium on executions would soon end.

Amnesty International said it is concerned about the country's "judicial overreach" and its effect on human rights issues as well as its intention to execute those on death row.

In a 2015 fact-finding mission to the Indian Ocean island, the UK-based rights group found political tension in the country had been exacerbated by what it called harassment, detention and the imprisonment of government opponents.

"Safeguards against human rights violations are progressively eroding and the government is failing in its duty to stop this," the group said at the time.

Source: Aljazeera, Agencies, August 9, 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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