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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…

Iraq executes 7 Arab men on terrorism convictions

At least 7 men of different Arab nationalities were hanged Wednesday in Iraq on charges of links to al-Qaeda and convictions for terrorist crimes, officials said.

"The death penalty has been carried out against 7 terrorists holding various Arab nationalities after the completion of their legal procedures," read a statement by the Iraqi ministry of justice.

The 7 were captured at least 4 years ago and found guilty of terrorist activities with al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"The blood of the martyrs will not go unpunished," Haidar al-Zamili, Iraq's justice minister, said in the statement.

The executed were from Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, Palestine, Syria, Jordan and Egypt. 

They were all hanged at the Nasiriyah prison in southern Iraq, said a local official from Dhiqar province, also in southern Iraq.

In June, the Iraqi Justice Ministry announced that in the 1st half of this year, it carried out 45 executions.

Another 36 were hanged for their involvement in a massacre at the Speicher military base, where ISIS killed 1,700 Shiite cadets. The cadets were killed after ISIS took over large swathes of Iraq and seized Mosul, starting in June 2014.

Source: rudaw.net, September 1, 2016

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