FEATURED POST

America Is Stuck With the Death Penalty for (At Least) a Generation

Image
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…

Belarus: Unprecedented Supreme Court decision to suspend death sentences

Belarus prison
Responding to the news that the Supreme Court of Belarus has in an unprecedented move decided to suspend and review the death sentences of Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy while their appeals are under consideration, Marie Struthers, Director of Amnesty International’s Eastern Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, said:

“This is a hugely significant and unprecedented decision for the only country in the region that has continued to execute people all these years. We are not aware of other cases where the Supreme Court of Belarus has suspended an execution.”

“We continue to monitor the case closely, but it gives us hope that after years of discussion on the death penalty Belarus is ready to walk the talk. We urge Belarus’ highest authorities to build on this development by immediately establishing a moratorium on executions and commuting all death sentences as first steps towards making Belarus death penalty-free.”

Background


Since 1994 the Supreme Court of Belarus has upheld all convictions and death sentences that came before it and President Alyaksandr Lukashenka has only once granted clemency.

Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy were convicted and sentenced to death by the Mahiliou Regional Court in eastern Belarus on 21 July 2017. They were found guilty of murdering six people between 2009 and 2015 with the aim of appropriating their property. Their convictions and death sentences were upheld by the Supreme Court on 20 December 2017 and the two men have since been at risk of imminent execution. Amnesty International has campaigned for their sentences to be commuted and for the President to introduce an immediate moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty.

Despite continuing assurances from the Belarusian authorities that it is progressing toward a moratorium on the implementation of the death penalty, Belarus has shown a flagrant disdain for global and regional trends towards abolition. Amnesty International believes that the death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment, and a violation of the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. As of today, 106 countries have fully abolished the death penalty in law and 142 are abolitionist in law or practice.

Source: Amnesty International, June 15, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Texas: With a man's execution days away, his victims react with fury or forgiveness

Ohio executes Robert Van Hook

Texas executes Christopher Young

Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles rejects clemency for Chris Young

Saudi Arabia executes seven people in one day

Fentanyl And The Death Penalty

20 Minutes to Death: Record of the Last Execution in France

Execution date pushed back for Texas 7 escapee after paperwork error on death warrant

Ex-Aum member Yoshihiro Inoue’s last words: ‘I didn’t expect things to turn out this way’

Oklahoma: Death row inmate’s legal team hopes DNA testing on key piece of evidence will exonerate him before execution