FEATURED POST

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…

Psychological Association of the Philippines joins call against death penalty revival

In a statement, the Psychological Association of the Philippines (PAP) said: "Capital punishment does not deliver on its hopes for better justice, closure for all parties concerned, and better crime prevention. It does not give full cognizance of the implications of its irreversible effect, the reality of the limits and inevitable class discrimination of the judicial process, and the misconception of closure and justice itself."

The group said "the practice of capital punishment point[s] to its discriminatory nature," adding that majority who were meted the death penalty have "incomes below minimum wage, unable to afford the legal services to defend themselves in a long process."

PAP also pointed out "judicial flaws" that include "incompetent counsel, inadequate investigatory services, or even outright police and prosecutorial violations of judicial procedures." It also noted that "torture or ill treatment of suspects to coerce confessions or implicate others during investigation is common in the country."

"History also points to gross misapplications of the death penalty law, with vulnerable individuals protected by Philippine law from capital punishment finding themselves on death row," PAP also said.

To recall, the bill which was approved by the House on March 1 via voice voting only lists drug-related offenses as crimes punishable by death: the importation, sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution, transportation and manufacturing of drugs, and maintenance of a drug den.

Source: Business World Online, March 7, 2017

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