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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…

Trump backs death penalty for drug dealers; is it constitutional?

Trump
President Donald Trump backed the death penalty for drug dealers on Saturday at a Pennsylvania rally, while his administration is reportedly studying the issue.

Trump said the United States got the idea of capital punishment for drug dealers from Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Washington Post reports.

The idea needs discussion, although “I don’t know if this country’s ready for it,” Trump said. CNN also has coverage.

Trump said people who kill just one person get the death penalty, while drug dealers can kill 5,000 people with drugs. “These people are killing our kids and they’re killing our families, and we have to do something,” Trump said.

The Post reported on Friday that Trump’s Domestic Policy Council and the U.S. Justice Department are studying policy changes that would authorize prosecutors to seek the death penalty for drug dealers.

One approach might be to make trafficking large quantities of fentanyl a capital crime because even a small amount of the drug can kill, the Post reported. The administration is also studying tougher prison sentences for large-scale dealers.

Federal law allows the death penalty for drug related murders in four situations, according to the Death Penalty Information Center: for a murder related to drug trafficking; for a drug-related murder of a law enforcement officer; for a drug-related murder involving a drive-by shooting; and for a murder committed by use of a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime.

George Washington University law professor Peter Meyers said he doesn’t agree with the idea of adding more capital crimes for drug dealers, but the idea would “very likely” be constitutional.

Ohio State University law professor Douglas Berman, however, had doubts. “It is not at all clear that death sentences for drug dealers, even for those whose drugs cause multiple deaths, would be constitutional,” he wrote at the Sentencing Law and Policy blog. “It is entirely clear that the issue would be litigated extensively and would have to be definitively decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Source: ABA Journal, Debra Cassens Weiss, March 12, 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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