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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…

Louisiana seeks 1-year extension in halt to executions

Louisiana's death chamber
Louisiana authorities are seeking a court order that would rule out any executions in the state for at least one more year.

A lawsuit challenging the state's lethal injection protocols has blocked Louisiana from carrying out any death sentences since 2014. Its last execution was in 2010.

In a court filing Wednesday, an attorney for the state asked for a 12-month extension in the court order temporarily staying all executions.

Jeffrey Cody, the state's lawyer, says litigating the case now would be "a waste of resources and time." He asked U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick to postpone a July 17 status conference for the litigation and extend the court-ordered halt in executions for 1 additional year "because the facts and issues involved in this proceeding continue to be in a fluid state."

"It is hoped that, by July 2019, the facts and issues ultimately to be litigated will have become more settled and the parties will then be in a better position to proceed forward with the litigation," Cody wrote.

Dick didn't immediately rule on Cody's request. The case was reassigned to Dick in January after the death of U.S. District Judge James Brady, whose order had temporary blocked all executions.

Drug shortages have forced Louisiana's corrections department to rewrite its execution plan several times since 2010. Under the current execution protocols, the state's primary method is a single-drug injection of pentobarbital, a powerful sedative. The alternative method is a 2-drug combination of the painkiller hydromorphone and the sedative midazolam. The corrections department has none of those drugs in its inventory, according to department spokesman Ken Pastorick.

Louisiana has 71 inmates on death row. The state's last execution was in January 2010, when prison officials put to death Gerald Bordelon, who was convicted of killing his 12-year-old stepdaughter in 2002.

Gary Clements, an attorney for a convicted child killer who sued to block his execution, said the state's request is "probably pretty reasonable under the circumstances" given the "fluid" state of the litigation.

Source: The Associated Press, July 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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