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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 -…

Council of Europe warns Turkey over death penalty restoration plans

The Council of Europe warned Turkey against re-establishing the death penalty on Oct. 30.

"Executing the death penalty is incompatible with membership of the Council of Europe," the 47-member organization, which includes Turkey, tweeted a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his government would ask parliament to consider reintroduction.

Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz added to the Council's warning, denouncing Turkey for considering a move that would "slam the door shut to the European Union."

"The death penalty is a cruel and inhumane form of punishment, which has to be abolished worldwide and stands in clear contradiction to European values," Kurz told the Austrian Press Agency.

Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland had in August warned Ankara about reinstating capital punishment, noting that the European Convention on Human Rights, which Turkey has ratified, clearly excluded it.

The Convention, signed in 1983, excludes capital punishment except in time of war or imminent threat of war and a 2002 protocol ended the time-of-war proviso.

Capital punishment soon if parliament approves it, Erdogan tells crowd in Ankara


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his decision to approve the installment of capital punishment if the parliament approves a related code while responding to chantings from the crowd at the opening of a main train station for high-speed trains in the capital city of Ankara on Oct. 29.

"Soon, soon, don't worry," Erdogan said, in response to a group in the crowd chanting "We want death penalty."

"It is soon inshallah," he said.

"Our government will bring this [issue] to the parliament and I believe that it will pass the parliament. I will approve it when it comes to me."

"If sovereignty rests with the nation, the issue is over," he said.

"It doesn't count what the West says but my nation," the president said.

Capital punishment has not been implemented in Turkey since 1984 and it was abolished officially in 2004.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News, October 30, 2016

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