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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…

Somalia: Boys Executed for Alleged Terrorism

Al-Shabaab militants
Al-Shabaab militants
Mogadishu — SOMALIA is under criticism following the execution of some children suspected to be members of the Al-Shabaab terror group. 

Five boys, aged between 14 and 17, have been [executed] in the northeastern Puntland region for their alleged role in the killing of three senior administration officials in February. A military tribunal meted the sentences. 

There are plans to execute two more boys Muhamed Yasin Abdi (aged 17) and Daud Saied Sahal (15) also for their alleged membership of the Al-Shabaab and the killing of government officials. 

Rights group, Amnesty International, said the boys were executed following a fundamentally flawed process during which they were tortured to confess, denied access to a lawyer and additional protections accorded to juveniles, and tried in a military tribunal. 

"The lives of the remaining two boys must be spared," said Michelle Kagari, Amnesty International's deputy regional director. 

Kagari said authorities should halt the executions and retry the boys in fair proceedings in a juvenile civilian court without recourse to the death penalty. 

"The Puntland authorities must not allow more blood on their hands." Amnesty nonetheless demanded those responsible for killing the three administration officials be identified and be brought to justice. "Torturing juveniles to confess, subjecting them to an unfair trial and then executing them does not ensure this." 

According to family members, the boys, who they denied were members of the Al-Shabaab, were subjected to electric shock, burnt with cigarettes on their genitals, beaten and raped into confessing to the murders.

Source: CAJ News, May 2, 2017

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