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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…

Hong Kong drug trafficker on death row moved to Indonesia's 'Execution Island'

Welcome to Nusakambangan Penal Island, where executions are carried out.
Welcome to Nusakambangan penal island, where executions are carried out.
Lai Siu-cheung was convicted of trafficking 91kg of methamphetamine

A Hong Kong drug offender facing the death penalty in Indonesia has been sent to Central Java's so-called "Execution Island".

Lai Siu-cheung, who was convicted of trafficking 91kg of methamphetamine, was among seven foreign nationals transferred to Nusa Kambangan island, also known as the "Alcatraz" of Indonesia.

It is the area's primary location for meting out capital punishment.

The others on death row are Frank Amado from the United States; Chen Weibiao, Xiao Jin Zeng and Lo Tin-yau, reportedly from China; Malaysian citizen E Wee Hock; and Frank Nwaomeka from Nigeria.

The date of Lai's execution has not been announced.

Local media reported that the seven were transferred to the island on Friday, when about 50 other inmates were also taken to the prisons on the island.

The Hong Kong Immigration Department said it had been following the situation through the Foreign Ministry commissioner's office in Hong Kong and the Chinese embassy in Indonesia. It will remain in contact with Lai's family and provide assistance.

After a halt on executions between 2009 and 2012, Indonesia carried out three rounds of executions, with the last one in July.

Prior to that, in one of the country's most infamous executions, the three Bali bombers behind the terrorist attack that killed 202 people in 2002 faced a firing squad on the island in 2008.

Source: South China Morning Post, Danny Mok, March 14, 2017


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