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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…

Saudi Arabia: Prisoner pardoned by victim's parents, released after 15 years on death row

Al-Ghali, left, and Al-Ghamdi, right.
Al-Ghali, left, and Al-Ghamdi, right.
After 15 years on the death row, a Chadian prisoner was released due to the efforts of the National Human Rights Society. A source said Chadian prisoner Bashir Al-Ghali was sentenced to death for murder 15 years ago.

“The prisoner spent 5,500 days in prison waiting for the day of his execution. He is the oldest prisoner on death row. And was freed after the President of the National Human Rights Society Saleh Al-Ghamdi reached out to the Director of Jeddah Prisons Col. Manie Al-Otaibi,” said the source.

The source also said the prisoner shed tears of happiness and will soon be deported back to his country.

“The prisoner is now 45 years old and has spent a third of his life in the prisons of Jeddah. He expressed his gratitude to the National Human Rights Society for exerting great efforts in reaching out to the family of the victim and asking for forgiveness on his behalf,” said the source.

The source also said the prisoner was also grateful for Jeddah prisons as he was able to memorize the Holy Qur’an and the Prophetic sayings during his incarceration.

“He studied various subjects and is updated on using technology thanks to the programs offered at the prison. He also said he will never commit such a horrid crime again and will use the knowledge he gained to better his life,” said the source.

The source added the prisoner was in a fight with a Sudanese man 15 years ago.

“The Sudanese man, a shepherd, was killed by the prisoner in the fight and was sentenced to death for his crime. The family of the prisoner reached out to the National Human Rights Society imploring them to seek the forgiveness of the victim’s family,” said the source.

The source said the National Human Rights Society was able to contact the father of the victim who was in Sudan. “The father of the victim used to work in Jeddah, also as a shepherd, but had left for his country after the death of his son. The National Human Rights Society brought the father of the victim to Kingdom after his consent and were able to complete the necessary procedures to release the prisoner,” said the source.

The source also said the father of the victim said the President of the National Human Rights Society reached out to him and invited him to come to Makkah.

“The father accepted the invitation and was received by the President of the National Human Rights Society at his home. The president offered to pay for all of the expenses and told the father that a donor is willing to give him a check of SR300,000 for the release of the prisoner,” said the source.

The source also said the victim’s mother had already told the father to not to accept any money as blood money for her son.

“The father said he had to contemplate a lot about forgiving the prisoner after 15 years of being on death row. The father prayed for an answer from Allah and eventually decided to forgive the prisoner without accepting any blood money,” said the source.

Source: alarabyia, October 31, 2016

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