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2018 Death Penalty report: Saudi Arabia’s False Promise

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With crown prince Mohammed bin Salman at the helm, 2018 was a deeply violent and barbaric year for Saudi Arabia, under his de facto leadership.
PhotoDeera Square is a public space located in front of the Religious Police building in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in which public executions (usually by beheading) take place. It is sometimes known as Justice Square and colloquially called Chop Chop Square. After Friday prayers, police and other officials clear the area to make way for the execution to take place. After the beheading of the condemned, the head is stitched to the body which is wrapped up and taken away for the final rites.
This year execution rates of 149 executions, shows an increase from the previous year of three executions, indicating that death penalty trends are soaring and there is no reversal of this trend in sight.
The execution rates between 2015-2018 are amongst the highest recorded in the Kingdom since the 1990s and coincide with the ascension of king Salman to the t…

Florida Supreme Court rejects 9 death penalty appeals

Witness room, Florida's death chamber
After similar rulings recently in at least 80 other cases, the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday rejected appeals from nine Death Row inmates.

All of the cases involve inmates who were sentenced to death before a June 2002 cutoff date.

The appeals stemmed from a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in a case known as Hurst v. Florida and a subsequent Florida Supreme Court decision.

The 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found Florida's death-penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional because it gave too much authority to judges, instead of juries.

The subsequent Florida Supreme Court ruling said juries must unanimously agree on critical findings before judges can impose death sentences and must unanimously recommend the death penalty.

But the Florida Supreme Court made the new sentencing requirements apply to cases since June 2002.

That is when the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling known as Ring v. Arizona that was a premise for striking down Florida's death-penalty sentencing system in 2016.

In each of the recent cases, the Death Row inmates had been sentenced to death before the Ring decision and argued unsuccessfully that the new unanimity requirements should also apply to their cases.

The inmates who lost appeals Wednesday were Darryl Brian Barwick in a Bay County case; Paul Anthony Brown in a Volusia County case; Milford Wade Byrd in a Hillsborough County case; Louis B. Gaskin in a Flagler County case; Mark Allen Geralds in a Bay County case; Ronald Palmer Heath in an Alachua County case; Thomas Dewey Pope in a Broward County case; Bobby Allen Raleigh in a Volusia County case; and Pablo San Martin in a Miami-Dade County case.

Source: News Service of Florida, February 28, 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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