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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 -…

Pakistan top in death penalty executions in Asia, Bangladesh 2nd

At least 130 executions were carried out in 11 Asian countries in 2016. The vast majority of them were executed in Pakistan. However there is no data available about executions in China, still believed to be by far the world's top executioner.

Overall the number of executions has decreased in the Asia pacific region due to a significant reduction in Pakistan. 

The total number of executions in the region fell from 367 in 2015 to 239 in 2016.

Although the number of executions in Pakistan has decreased from 326 in 2015 to 87 in 2016, it still tops the list of the countries with highest number of executions in the Asian region. 

The range of those executed varied from prisoners tried by military courts to those suspected of undertaking terrorist activities.

Bangladesh executed 10 people in 2016. 8 out of the 10 were convicted of murder while 2 were tried by International Crimes Tribunal (Bangladesh) for the war crimes committed in 1971.

With secrecy around death penalties slightly lifted, Malaysia has seen an increase in the executions with 9 in 2016, compared to 6 in 2014 and 1 in 2015.

In Afghanistan where almost 600 people were under sentence of death by the end of the year, in 2016, 8 people were executed related to terrorist activities.

Indonesia executed 4 people in the year 2016, 3 of them foreigners and 1 Indonesian. All 4 men were convicted of drug related offenses.

2 men who were executed had their clemency applications pending for a review when the executions were undertaken.

Singapore carried 4 executions in 2016 for murder and drug trafficking. 2 of the 4 executed were Malaysian nationals and 1 was Nigerian. The country has also issued new restrictive guidelines for reviewing the death sentences of those convicted.

Japan executed 3 people in 2016, 2 men and 1 woman. The country's Federation of Bar Association has called on the authorities to abolish the death penalty by the year 2020.

Taiwan executed 1 person within 3 weeks after his sentence was finalised.

Source: The Daily Star, April 30, 2017

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