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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…

Pakistan: Man facing death penalty acquitted after 8 years

ISLAMABAD - The Supreme Court on Thursday acquitted a man, who was awarded death sentence by a trial and a high court in a murder case, after eight years in prison.

Abdul Baqi was convicted in the killing case of Muhammad Ali in Balochistan in 2009. 

The trial court on the basis of a medical report and witnesses’ statements had awarded him the death sentence. 

Later, the Balochistan High Court upheld Baqi’s death sentence. 

The convict had challenged high court verdict in the Supreme Court.

A three-member bench headed by Justice Asif Saeed Khan Khosa after hearing the arguments of the prosecution and the defence counsel acquitted Abdul Baqi and set aside the BHC verdict.

The bench observed that there was a contradiction between the medical report and the statements of the prosecution witnesses. 

Justice Khosa said that in the charge-sheet it was written that an axe was recovered from the accused, but later it was added that a ‘blood soaked axe’ was recovered.

The court observed that the prosecution has failed to prove its case and ordered to release Baqi.

Source: The Nation, March 31, 2017

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