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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 -…

Kenya: Debate on abolishing death sentence resumes in 28 counties

Power of Mercy Advisory Committee vice chairperson Regina Boisabi, Prisons boss Muriithi Githaiga and POMAC chief executive Michael Kagika
Power of Mercy Advisory Committee vice chairperson Regina Boisabi,
Prisons boss Muriithi Githaiga and POMAC chief executive Michael Kagika.
The Power of Mercy Advisory Committee will on Wednesday continue collecting views on whether the death penalty and life imprisonment should be abolished.

CEO Michael Kagika said in a statement that findings will be documented and recommendations drawn from citizens' opinions.

“The debate provides a platform for Kenyans to express their opinions on capital offences and what forms of punishment capital offenders should be subjected to,” he said.

“At present, there are approximately 3,000 convicts who have been handed the death sentence. Out of this number, only 300 criminal offenders have gone through the appeal process in court and can therefore be said to be on death row."

There are currently five crimes classified as capital offences. Murder, treason, robbery with violence, attempted robbery with violence and oathing for criminal activities by proscribed groups including terrorists attract the death penalty upon conviction.

POMAC, through meetings held meetings in 19 counties since June, found majority of Kenyans want the death sentence abolished and life imprisonment reviewed.

Kagika said public discussions led by the committee and the National Crime Research Centre will be held in the next two months in the remaining 28 counties.

The agency has partnered with stakeholders including county governments, the Kenya Prisons Service, the ODPP and the judiciary to collect views.

The church and other faith-based organisations, women, youth, village elders, media, civil society, persons with disabilities, the business community and prisoners were encouraged to participate.

The committee will visit Kirinyaga, Nyeri, Nyandarua, Samburu, Murang’a, Kiambu, Garissa, Kitui, Machakos, Makueni, Busia, Bungoma, Kakamega, Vihiga, Nandi, Uasin Gishu and Elgeyo Marakwet.

Others are Trans Nzoia, West Pokot, Marsabit, Isiolo, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Embu, Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, and Nairobi.

Source: The Star, Joseph Ndunda, September 13, 2016

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