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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

13 Chinese sentenced to death for drugs offences as thousands look on in public trial

"13 people were sentenced to death for producing and selling drugs."
Eight executed immediately after open hearing in a stadium in notorious drug producing area of Guangdong province

Two courts in southern China’s Guangdong province sentenced 13 people to death for producing and selling drugs at a public trial in a stadium in the city of Shanwei watched by some 10,000 people, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The Shanwei Intermediate People’s Court and the Lufeng People’s Court handed out sentences on Saturday for 18 people, the report said, without giving the names of the accused or details of the charges.

Five were given suspended sentences. Of the 13 sentenced to death, eight were executed immediately after the trial.

The city of Lufeng, which is administered by Shanwei, is notorious for making and trafficking drugs. 

In 2014 more than 3,000 paramilitary personnel, police and border guards from Guangdong raided a village near Lufeng and seized three tonnes of crystal meth. 

Nearly 200 people from the village, which has a population of 14,000, were detained at the time.

The Lufeng court heard 234 cases involving drugs last year and sentenced 107 people to prison terms of at least five years.

A similar public trial was held in 2015 in Lufeng, with five people sentenced to death and executed immediately and another eight given suspended death penalties. 

A further 25 people were sentenced to at least 10 years in jail each.

Source: South China Morning Post, Zhuang Pinghui, June 27, 2017

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