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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…

Pakistan: Petition in High Court seeks public execution of Zainab's murderer

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The father of Zainab Amin, a 6-year-old child whose rape and murder by Imran Ali in January 2018 had sparked national outrage, has filed a petition in the Lahore High Court (LHC) demanding that his daughter's killer be hanged publicly.

The petition states that a public execution will "give [a] clear message of deterrence to everybody" and that "the murderer of Zainab should be given exemplary punishment so as to avoid any such tragedy in the future."

The petition further says that according to Article 22 of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), the government can carry out public executions if it is likely to create a deterrent effect.

Zainab, whose body was recovered from a trash heap in Kasur, had been kidnapped, raped and killed earlier this year. 

The incident had spawned the #JusticeForZainab campaign online and also resulted in an increased debate on and media reporting of child abuse cases.

On February 17, the accused Imran was found guilty by an Anti-Terrorism Court and was subsequently awarded 4 counts of the death penalty, 1 life term, a 7-year jail term and Rs4.1 million in fines.

In the aftermath of the verdict, a debate had taken place in the Senate and the Council of Islamic Ideology on whether public execution could be justified in certain cases. The lawmakers had eventually opposed the idea.

Source: dawn.com, June 24, 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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