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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…

Julian McMahon: The Politics of Executions

At the Castan Centre for Human Rights Law Conference 2016, barrister Julian McMahon, who represented Van Tuong Nguyen and Bali Nine ringleaders Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, looks at the politics of executions in Asia, with specific reference to the Philippines and Indonesia.- Melbourne, July 2016

Source: The Monthly, September 1, 2016





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