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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…

Mumbai 1993 blasts: Abu Salem to escape noose

Abu Salem
Abu Salem
Salem cannot get a death term or any jail-term over 25 years as per the terms of his extradition agreed upon by India and Portugal.

Mumbai: A special TADA court convicted extradited gangster Abu Salem for his alleged role in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts on Friday, on charges including murder. 

However, Salem cannot get a death term or any jail-term over 25 years as per the terms of his extradition agreed upon by India and Portugal.

CBI’s lawyer Deepak Salvi said, “Due to the extradition terms, wherein Salem cannot be punished with death, we will request the court to give him life-term, instead of death penalty, even though he deserved death penalty.” 

Another CBI source said, “Salem’s extradition, which was made on the basis of the International Convention for the Suppression of Terrorist Bombings of which India and Portugal are signatories, included a few key conditions — if extradited for trial in India, he would neither be conferred with death penalty nor be subjected to imprisonment for a term beyond 25 years.

According to Advocate Sujay Kantawala, the awarding of death penalty to 1993 blast accused Abu Salem would not be violating the extradition treaty signed by India as the crime by Salem was “a crime against humanity and involved terrorist activity” and so giving him the death penalty would not violate any extradition treaty.

Source: The Asian Age, June 21/22, 2017

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