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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 -…

Vietnam: 73-year-old Aussie drug mule has death penalty reduced to life

Nguyen Thi Huong was sentenced to death for trafficking over a kilo of heroin.
Nguyen Thi Huong was sentenced to death for trafficking over a kilo of heroin.
An appeals court in Vietnam has commuted the death sentence of a 73-year-old Australian woman convicted of heroin trafficking.

The online state media outlet Vietnamnet quoted the People's High Court in Ho Chi Minh City as citing Nguyen Thi Huong's sincere confession and age for granting leniency. 

The sentence was reduced to life in prison at the appeals trial on Monday.

Court officials were not available for comment on Tuesday.

Huong was sentenced to death in June after being convicted of trafficking over a kilo of heroin.

She was arrested in December 2014 when checking in for a flight to Australia after the heroin was found hidden in 36 bars of soap in her luggage.

The court originally ruled that the offence was "extremely dangerous to the community" and found her guilty. 

She would have faced death by lethal injection.

Huong has always maintained her innocence saying the bars of soap were given to her and she planned to take them back to Australia as gifts for family not knowing what was inside.

Vietnam has some of the world's toughest drug laws where trafficking even small amounts of heroin is punishable by death.

Source: ntnews.com.au, November 22, 2016

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