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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…

Turkey: MHP leader urges death penalty bill amid EU tensions

'Since the July 15 defeated coup, many officials have called for the death penalty to be reinstated for the putschists.'
'Since the July 15 defeated coup, many officials have called for the
death penalty to be reinstated for the putschists.'
Opposition leader Devlet Bahceli calls on ruling AK Party to send parliament bill to reinstate capital punishment

The opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday urged the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party to submit a bill to reinstate capital punishment amid tensions with the European Union, which does not allow the death penalty among member states.

"The AK Party should submit a bill on capital punishment to the Turkish parliament as soon as possible now that the European Parliament does not want it and uses it as an excuse to end relations [with Turkey]," Devlet Bahceli told MHP parliamentary deputies, referring to last week's non-binding EP vote calling for a freeze on Turkey's EU accession talks.

Turkey is an EU membership candidate, and it abolished the death penalty in 2004.

Since the July 15 defeated coup, which martyred 248 people and wounded nearly 2,000 others, many officials have called for the death penalty to be reinstated for the putschists.

Days after the coup, on July 19, Bahceli voiced support for bringing back the death penalty, and on Nov. 1, he said his party would support the AK Party government if it chooses to go forward.

The European Union has warned Ankara that reinstating capital punishment would automatically end Turkey's membership process.

Bahceli also said that far from wanting to join the EU or the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Turkey has a different goal.

"Neither the European Union nor the Shanghai Cooperation; we say the 'Turkish Union' until the end," he told the MHP parliamentary group meeting.

Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Friday that Turkey wants to improve relations with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, adding that Turkey's relations with it are neither a threat nor a challenge to the European Union.

Source: aa.com.tr, November 29, 2016

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