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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 -…

Pakistani court frees Islamic preacher sentenced to death for blasphemy

"Laws used to settle personal scores or grudges"
"Laws used to settle personal scores or grudges"
ISLAMABAD — A Pakistani court freed an Islamic preacher who was sentenced to death four years ago on charges of blasphemy, a defense lawyer said Tuesday.

Chaudhry Mehmood Akhtar said that a judge in the city of Rawalpindi acquitted Mohammad Ishaq on Friday after finding him "completely innocent" of insulting Islam.

Ishaq was custodian at a shrine in Punjab province when he was arrested and sentenced to death in 2013 after a citizen accused him of claiming in conversation to actually be God.

"My client is a practicing Muslim and he was a victim of false charges. Now I am doing the paperwork to get him out of a jail," Akhtar told The Associated Press.

Under Pakistan's blasphemy laws, anyone accused of insulting God, Islam or religious personalities can be sentenced to death. 

However the laws are also sometimes used to settle personal scores or grudges.

Human rights groups have called for amending Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, which are often misused against the country's minority Christian community. 

In 2015, a Muslim mob beat a Christian couple to death and burned their bodies for allegedly desecrating the Quran.

Source: The Associated Press, February 28, 2017

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