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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…

Indonesian President clarifies Philippine counterpart's comment on Filipina drug mule Mary Jane Veloso

Presidente Rodrigo Duterte (left) and President Joko Widodo
Presidente Rodrigo Duterte (left) and President Joko Widodo
JAKARTA: Indonesian President Joko Widodo has clarified what Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said to him during their meeting in Jakarta on Friday (Sep 9) about Filipino death row drug convict Mary Jane Veloso.

"President Duterte said please, go ahead with the process in line with the law in Indonesia," said Mr Widodo when speaking with reporters after opening a new terminal at Tanjung Priok port, north Jakarta on Tuesday.

However, on Monday Mr Widodo used the phrase 'please, go ahead if you want to execute', which had some media reporting that Mr Duterte had given the 'green light' to execute Veloso.

The Philippines was quick to deny this, with Mr Duterte's spokesperson Mr Ernesto Abella saying on the same day that during his conversation with Mr Widodo, the actual statement was 'Follow your own laws. I will not interfere.'

Mr Widodo added that his government will also respect the legal process on Veloso currently ongoing in Manila.

He also praised Mr Duterte's consistency in the country's fight against drugs.

"I see that President Duterte's consistency in eradicating drugs is really high. There is no tolerance. Thus, he said that he will respect the laws in Indonesia," said Mr Widodo.

Veloso was spared the firing squad at the eleventh hour in April last year after a woman in the Philippines came forward to admit that she had duped Veloso into smuggling drugs to Indonesia.

In 2010, she was arrested in Jogyakarta airport for trying to bring in 5.7 kilograms of heroin, and was given the death sentence later in October.

Her death sentence has been put on hold now as investigations are ongoing.

Source: Channel News Asia, September 14, 2016

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