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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…

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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