Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

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 -…

New Zealander Peter Gardner facing death sentence for smuggling 30kgs of meth begins third year in Chinese jail

Peter Gardner
Peter Gardner
A Kiwi facing the death penalty for attempting to smuggle 30 kilograms of methamphetamine out of China will begin his 3rd year in jail without knowing his fate.

And Peter Gardner will have to wait for at least another 3 months after the Chinese court deliberating his fate had extended his detention to 25 January 2017.

His lawyer Craig Tuck said Gardner was holding up as best as could be expected under the circumstances.

"There is no indication about how long this will continue or when a decision will be made.

"He is deeply grateful for the love and support of his family and friends. The situation is extremely difficult for his family and they seek to maintain their privacy until this matter is resolved."

Gardner, a Kiwi and Australian citizen, was stopped from boarding his Sydney-bound China Southern flight from Guangzhou in November with travelling companion Kalynda Davis, after customs officials detected 30 kilograms of the drug methamphetamine, also commonly known as ice, in their bags. With a rough street value of $20 million, it was the biggest single haul of the drug ever seized at the airport.

In May, Gardner told a court in Guangzhou that he had been duped into being a drug mule by a sophisticated international smuggling syndicate.

"This is the biggest mistake of my life."

Gardner thought he was performance-enhancing peptides used by athletes.

A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said consular staff continued to visit Gardner regularly.

"Consular staff from the New Zealand Consulate-General in Guangzhou continue to provide advice to Mr Gardner and his family, and regularly visit to check on his well-being. Consular officials most recently visited Mr Gardner earlier this week."

He was detained on November 8, 2014, and for most of the past two years, he has shared a small cell with 20 other foreigners. Former prisoners have said the lights are kept on for 24 hours, no running water, and prisoners are fed 2 small portions of rice each day.

According to figures released earlier this year, there are an estimated 800 Kiwis in foreign prisons around the world.

Source: stuff.co.nz, October 30, 2016

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