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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 sentences 9 men to death for drug trafficking

Vietnam (file photo)
Vietnam has sentenced nine drug traffickers to death for smuggling nearly half a tonne (500 kilograms) of heroin into the country from Laos, a local government report said Wednesday.

Nine others were jailed for life over the massive drug bust and "all illegal profits were seized", according to the official newspaper of the Hoa Binh provincial government.

The traffickers smuggled the drugs from neighbouring Laos for resale in China and pocketed $670,000 between 2012 and 2016, according to a separate report by the state-run Vietnam News Agency which gave no further details.

Communist Vietnam has some of the world's toughest anti-drug laws. 

Anyone found guilty of possessing more than 600 grams (21 ounces) of heroin, or more than 20 kilograms of opium, can face the death penalty.

The "Golden Triangle" region covering parts of Laos, Thailand and Myanmar is one of the world's top producers of opium, and heroin and other drugs are often smuggled into Vietnam from the region.

In January 2014 30 drug smugglers were sentenced to death in Vietnam's largest narcotics case, after nearly two tonnes of heroin was seized.

Governments in Southeast Asia's Mekong region have vowed to redouble efforts to tackle the rampant trade in heroin and methamphetamines.

But crackdowns are hindered by the soaring demand for drugs, corrupt officialdom and the long, porous jungle borders between the neighbours.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 22, 2017

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