FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
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…

Belarus Carries Out First Execution This Year; EU Urges Moratorium

Syarhey Vostrykau in a defendant's cage in May 2016
Syarhey Vostrykau in a defendant's cage in May 2016
Belarus is believed to have carried out its first execution of the year.

Homel resident Syarhey Vostrykau, who was found guilty of rapes and murders involving extreme brutality, was most likely executed last month on either April 13 or April 29, the Belarusian human rights center Vyasna said in a report posted on its website.

"Representatives of the group Human Rights Activists Against the Death Penalty in Belarus have learned that the death sentence handed out to Homel resident Siarhei Vostrykau has been carried out. 

His mother has received a relevant report from the Homel Regional Court," Vyasna said on its website on May 5.

Judges in the regional court in the southeastern city of Homel found Vostrykau, 33, guilty in May of last year of kidnapping, raping, and murdering two women in 2014 and 2015. 

The case was heard behind closed doors.

Belarus remains the only country in Europe which still applies the death penalty. The execution is carried out by firing squad.

The European Union issued a statement reaffirming "its strong opposition to capital punishment in all circumstances."

"The continued application of the death penalty goes counter to Belarus's stated willingness to engage with the international community, including the European Union, on the matter and to consider the introduction of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty," EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said in a May 6 statement.

"The European Union urges Belarus...to commute the remaining death sentences and to introduce without delay a moratorium on the death penalty as a first step towards its abolition," Kocijancic said.

Belarus carried out four executions last year. Before 2016, an execution had not been carried out under the Belarusian legal system since November 2014.

Source: RFE, May 6, 2017

⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Texas executes Christopher Young

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

The Aum Shinrikyo Executions: Why Now?

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Indonesia: Gay couple publicly whipped after vigilante mob drags them out of beauty salon

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day