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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…

Botswana has no intention to abolish death penalty – Khama

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Botswana has no intention to abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its implementation, President Ian Khama said on Tuesday.President Ian Khama told heads of diplomatic missions accredited to Gaborone that his government is unfazed by international calls to abolish the death penalty.

Noting that the matter has aroused interest in certain quarters, Khama said Botswana maintains the position that the death penalty is a criminal justice issue and its application on the most serious crimes is the sovereign right of individual States.

“It is important to note that death penalty is not imposed arbitrarily in Botswana. In short, the application of the death penalty follows a thorough and exhaustive legal process that meets the basic standards of a fair trial, and the penalty is imposed for the most serious crimes as understood under international law,” Khama said.

He added: “In this regard, as Government, we do not intend to either abolish the death penalty or impose a moratorium on its application.”

Human rights activists and the European Union have pleaded with Botswana to impose a moratorium on death penalty and hold a national referendum to establish if it was in favour of the practice.

Source: APA, March 14, 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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