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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 -…

Iraq: ISIS executes hundreds of Mosul area residents

Iraqi-led forces push toward Mosul, Iraq.
Iraqi-led forces push toward Mosul, Iraq.
(CNN) ISIS rounded up and killed 284 men and boys as Iraqi-led coalition forces closed in on Mosul, the terror group's last stronghold in Iraq, an Iraqi intelligence source told CNN.

Those killed Thursday and Friday had been used as human shields against attacks forcing ISIS out of the southern sections of Mosul, the source said.

ISIS dumped the corpses in a mass grave at the defunct College of Agriculture in northern Mosul, the intelligence source said.

The victims -- some of them children -- were all shot, said the source, who asked for anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media. CNN could not independently confirm the killings.

UN 'gravely worried' over human shield use


The United Nations said Friday it is "gravely worried" that ISIS has taken 550 families from villages around Mosul for human shields as Iraqi and Kurdish forces battle the terror group for control of Iraq's second-largest city.

Two hundred families from Samalia village and 350 families from Najafia were forced out Monday and taken to Mosul in what appears to be "an apparent policy by ISIS to prevent civilians escaping," Ravina Shamdasani, deputy spokeswoman for the UN Human Rights Office, told CNN.

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said his office had evidence of several instances since Monday where ISIS forced civilians to leave outlying villages and head to Mosul. It also had received reports that civilians suspected of disloyalty had been shot dead.

Iraqi army and militia forces arrive Thursday in Saleh village in the offensive to wrest Mosul from ISIS.

"We are gravely worried by reports that (ISIS) is using civilians in and around Mosul as human shields as the Iraqi forces advance, keeping civilians close to their offices or places where fighters are located, which may result in civilian casualties," the UN official said.

"There is a grave danger that (ISIS) fighters will not only use such vulnerable people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated," he said.

His office is examining reports that ISIS shot dead at least 40 civilians in a village outside Mosul.
Any ISIS fighters who are captured or surrendered "should be held accountable in accordance with the law for any crimes they have committed," he said.

Source: CNN, October 22, 2016

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