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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…

Malaysia: 165 on death row escaped the gallows from 2007 to 2017

Screenshot from "Apprentice", by Boo Junfeng (2016).
The pardons board of various states reduced the sentence of 165 people who were sentenced to death from 2007 to 2017, said the Prisons Department.

During the same time, 35 executions took place, said its deputy director (policy) Supri Hashim.

Supri said that those who had their death sentence reduced, were usually given life or 20 years imprisonment.

He said this during a press conference on the proposed abolition of the death penalty organised by the Human Rights Commission of Malaysian (Suhakam) on Thursday (June 28).

At the moment, Supri said there were 1,267 people on death row or 2.7% of the prison population of about 60,000 people.

Supri said they are at various stages of appeal - 336 in the Court of Appeal, 128 in the Federal Court and 442 at the states' pardons board.

He did not mention the stages of the other remaining prisoners on death row.

He said executions can only take place if they got orders from the states' pardons boards or a warrant of execution from the High Court.

With 9 executions in 2016, Malaysia was among 23 countries that executed 1,032 people globally.

This figure excludes China, which Amnesty International believes executes thousands of people yearly.

Malaysia imposes the death penalty for several crimes, including murder, drug trafficking, treason, waging war against the King and terrorism-related offences.

Last year, the Dewan Rakyat voted to remove the mandatory death penalty for drug offences, giving judges the power to decide the sentences.

Human rights groups, however, have called for the total abolition of the death penalty.

Source: thestar.com.my, June 28, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
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