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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…

UAE: Teenager gets death penalty for stabbing man to death in row over football

SHARJAH - A 19-year-old Pakistani student has been handed the death penalty for stabbing to death a countryman in a row over a football match.

The teenager claimed that he stabbed the victim in self-defence in Bu Taina, Sharjah, in August 2015, after the man attacked him with a knuckle duster.

Sharjah Criminal Court heard that the student lashed out with a small knife that he brought from his home before fleeing the scene.

The victim, Mohammed Dagher Ahmad, was rushed to Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah with the knife still lodged in his chest and he later died.

Hospital staff reported the incident to Sharjah Police and the student was arrested.

At a previous hearing in December last year, family of the deceased refused to pardon the killer and demanded the death penalty.

On Wednesday, they got what they wanted but the verdict shocked the teenager’s father.

"It was kids playing at a football match - there was no premeditated intention to kill him. The verdict is harsh, especially because it was self-defence," he said.

The father said he will refrain from telling his wife the verdict.

"I will not tell her the verdict now, she will be devastated. We will file for appeal and hope that the verdict be overturned and limited to serving time in prison instead of the death sentence," he added.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days of sentencing.

Source: The National, February 22, 2017

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