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USA | States Continue to Oppose DNA Testing in Death Penalty Appeals, Attorneys Ask Why Don’t They Want to Learn the Truth?

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The last 3 men scheduled for execution in Georgia said they did not commit the killing and that DNA testing that was not available at the time of trial could prove it. In 2 of the cases, victim family members supported the request for testing. Prosecutors opposed the requests, and the courts refused to allow the testing. 2 of the 3 men were executed, with doubts still swirling as to their guilt.
Shawn Nolan, a federal defender who represented Georgia prisoner Ray “Jeff” Cromartie, summed up the sentiments of the prisoners, families, and defense attorneys in these cases. “I’d like to know what the state is so scared of,” he said. “Why are they afraid of the truth? This is sad and so disturbing.”
“We have the capability of testing a wide range of forensic evidence that we couldn’t test in the past,” said Death Penalty Information Center Executive Director Robert Dunham. “It is a powerful tool to get to the truth and to get important answers as to whether the criminal legal system has b…

India | Supreme Court Dismisses Vinay's Appeal Against Rejection Of Mercy Plea

On Friday, a three-judge Supreme Court bench dismissed Nirbhaya case convict Vinay Sharma’s appeal against the President’s rejection of his mercy petition.

On Friday, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justices R Banumathi, Ashok Bhushan and AS Bopanna dismissed Nirbhaya case convict Vinay Sharma’s appeal against the President’s rejection of his mercy petition. 

Sharma’s counsel had put forth the contention that the President had ignored his adverse mental condition due to the torture in the jail. On the other hand, Solicitor General Tushar Mehta denied this claim and asserted that the rapist was fit and of sound mind.  

The apex court agreed with the Centre that Sharma is medically fit and psychologically stable. Moreover, it rejected the argument that relevant materials were not forwarded by the Ministry of Home Affairs to the President. 

This verdict implies that Vinay Sharma has exhausted all possible legal remedies to stop his execution.  

MHA moves Supreme Court


Till now, President Ram Nath Kovind has rejected the mercy petitions of three convicts- Vinay Sharma, Akshay and Mukesh. Pawan, the remaining convict is yet to file the mercy plea. 

However, on January 31, the Patiala House Court stayed the execution of all the rapists until further orders. The Ministry of Home Affairs moved the Delhi High Court against this order but failed to get any relief. Subsequently, it approached the Supreme Court.  

What is the Nirbhaya case?


A 23-year-old paramedic student Nirbhaya was gang-raped inside a running bus by six persons on December 16, 2012, in Delhi. The victim was severely assaulted and thrown out on the road along with her male friend and succumbed to injuries a few days later. 

Out of the six convicts, one reportedly committed suicide in prison, while another, a juvenile, served maximum punishment of three years in a reform home and was set free in 2015. The remaining four rapists were convicted and handed the death penalty by a trial court in 2013, confirmed by the Delhi High Court in March 2014. 

The Supreme Court upheld the Delhi High Court's verdict in 2017. 

Source: republicworld.com, Staff, February 14, 2020


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but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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