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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…

Bahrain: Death sentence in teacher’s death case upheld

Manama, Bahrain
Manama: Bahrain’s Cassation Court on Monday upheld the death sentence for one defendant and life in prison for another on charges of a terror attack that caused the death of a female teacher.

The court ruled the revocation of their Bahrain citizenship and the payment of 1,544 Bahrain dinars (Dh14,704.2) for the damages they caused by exploding the bomb.

The court also upheld the prison sentences of three years against seven defendants as ruled by the High Criminal Court and endorsed by the Court of Appeals.

The acquittal of one suspect was also upheld by the Court of Appeals and the Court of Cassation.

According to the case documents, the second defendant, a fugitive in Iran with links to elements in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and a leader in the Saraya Al Ashtar terror brigade, in 2014 suggested to the first defendant the formation of a group in Bahrain to carry out attacks in the kingdom.

He offered him the possibility to be trained by the Revolutionary Guard and be ready for attacks that would undermine the state and the political regime.

In 2015, the first defendant reportedly agreed and went on May 2 to Iran where he met the second defendant who took him to a Revolutionary Guards-run camp.

According to the documents, he was given theoretical and practical training for eight days and returned to Bahrain to prepare attacks.

He was supplied with a Kalashnikov rifle that he kept in his home while preparing an attack on a police patrol.

The group decided to plant a device by a highway south of the capital Manama and explode it as a police patrol would be passing by.

On June 30, 2016, the first defendant placed the bomb under a billboard and went on the roof of a nearby building to monitor the situation.

As he saw a police car come closer, he used a remote control to explode the device, the case documents said.

However, the explosion missed the police car and a woman, Fakhriya Musallam Ahmad, a 42-year-old high schoolteacher who was driving her car in the area was killed in the blast after she suffered fatal injuries to her head. It was a lucky escape for her children who were with her in the car.

Following the explosion, the main defendant fled the area and hid away with the complicity of the other accused.

Investigations led to the arrest of the suspects and in June 2017, the High Criminal Court sentenced the first defendant to death, the second defendant to life in prison, and the third, fourth, fifth, seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth defendants to three years in jail.

The sixth accused, the sister-in-law of the first defendant, was acquitted as the law regarding harbouring suspects did not fully apply to close relatives.

The first and second defendants were told to pay BD497 for damages to the car of the victim, BD150 for damages to a shop, BD527 for damages to a car showroom and BD380 for damages to a company.

The defendants challenged the ruling, but the Court of Appeals upheld it. The second defendant did not appeal the verdict as he was not in Bahrain.

Source: Gulf News, February 26, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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