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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 -…

Nigerian, Malaysian hanged in Singapore for drug trafficking

"Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried out on 18 November 2016 at Changi Prison Complex, Indonesia." - CNB
"Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried
out on 18 November 2016 at Changi Prison Complex, Indonesia." - CNB
SINGAPORE - Singapore on Friday executed two foreigners convicted of drug trafficking, according to the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) in a statement.

The Nigerian and Malaysian were hanged after their last-minute appeals were rejected.

"A 38-year-old male Nigerian national, Chijioke Stephen Obioha, had his death sentence carried out on 18 November 2016 at Changi Prison Complex," the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) said in a statement.

Obioha, who came to Singapore hoping to be a footballer, according to news agency AFP, was convicted of trafficking 2.6 kilograms of cannabis in 2008.

Under the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), the death penalty is imposed if the amount of cannabis trafficked is 500g or more.

Obioha was given the opportunity to be considered for re-sentencing under the new death penalty regime in 2013, which would open up the option of a life-sentence, but opted not to do so.

In May 2015, Obioha changed his mind and elected to be considered for re-sentencing under the new death penalty regime.

Although his request to adduce fresh evidence was rejected, the Court of Appeal ordered a stay of execution for Chijioke Stephen Obioha to allow him time to file an application for re-sentencing.

But in Aug 2016, he withdrew his re-sentencing application. According to CNB, he was notified that the stay of execution would be lifted on Oct 24, 2016 unless he demonstrated by noon on October 21 to the Court of Appeal’s satisfaction that there was good reason not to do so.

Obioha did not put in an application and the stay of execution was lifted on Oct 24.

On Wednesday (Nov 16), his lawyers launched a final bid to have his sentence commuted to life in prison but were turned down the next day.

In a separate case, the CNB also confirmed the execution of 31-year-old Malaysian Devendran Supramaniam, who was convicted of trafficking heroin.

He was convicted of importing 83.36g of diamorphine into Singapore and sentenced to death on July 29, 2014. The offence of trafficking diamorphine (or pure heroin) is punishable by death if the amount imported is 15g or more.

His appeal against conviction and sentence was dismissed by the Court of Appeal in May 2015.

Devendran's counsel filed for a stay of execution at the eleventh hour on Nov 17, 2016 and to re-open his appeal. The criminal motions were heard and dismissed by the Court of Appeal on the same day. His sentence was carried out on Nov 18.

He had also been given the opportunity to petition the President for clemency but was turned down.

Source: news.asiaone.com, November 18, 2016

Recommended reading: Once a Jolly Hangman, Singapore Justice in the Dock, July 23, 2016

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