Capital Punishment in the United States Explained

In our Explainer series, Fair Punishment Project lawyers help unpackage some of the most complicated issues in the criminal justice system. We break down the problems behind the headlines - like bail, civil asset forfeiture, or the Brady doctrine - so that everyone can understand them. Wherever possible, we try to utilize the stories of those affected by the criminal justice system to show how these laws and principles should work, and how they often fail. We will update our Explainers monthly to keep them current. Read our updated explainer here.
To beat the clock on the expiration of its lethal injection drug supply, this past April, Arkansas tried to execute 8 men over 1 days. The stories told in frantic legal filings and clemency petitions revealed a deeply disturbing picture. Ledell Lee may have had an intellectual disability that rendered him constitutionally ineligible for the death penalty, but he had a spate of bad lawyers who failed to timely present evidence of this claim -…

Trump gives ‘thumbs up’ in photo with PH police chief who used to head deadly drug war

Philippines’ police chief Ronald Dela Rosa and Donald Trump.
United States President Donald Trump was warned not to do the signature fist pump pose of President Rodrigo Duterte by human rights advocates, before going to Manila for this year’s Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

Critics warned Trump prior to the trip that the gesture has come to represent the brutalities of Duterte’s drug war, which has claimed thousands of lives.

Despite the warning, Trump seems to be hitting it off with Duterte quite well, telling reporters yesterday that the two have a “great relationship.”

So we’re not sure if he didn’t know — or didn’t care — that taking a picture giving a thumbs up to the cameras next to the Philippines’ police chief Ronald Dela Rosa practically sends almost the same message as Duterte’s fist pump.

Dela Rosa posted the meeting on his Facebook page this morning, although he did not specify when the meeting actually took place.

Dela Rosa became police chief when Duterte assumed the presidency last year and is known as the “architect” of the war on drugs.

According to Dela Rosa’s account, after he was introduced to Trump by the secret service agent, all Trump could say was “ooohh.”

Dela Rosa added, “and the rest of his statement is classified.”

Dela Rosa called the drug war project “Double Barrel.” His campaign against drugs has faced a mountain of abuse allegations since its implementation. It’s called “double barrel” because of the focus on both “high-level” drug targets (manufacturers, drug lords) and “low-level” street peddlers through “Oplan Tokhang.”

“Tokhang” is a blending of the Visayan words “toktok” (knock) and “hangyo” (plead), in which drug users and pushers are theoretically asked to surrender to local police, have their names listed, and are instructed not to do drugs or sell them again.

According to human rights investigators, many of the names on this list ended up becoming targets of vigilantes, or killed for “fighting back” in police-sanctioned anti-drug operations. Their estimates peg the number of drug war deaths at over 13,000, while the government attributes less than 6,300 deaths — including those killed in police operations and by masked vigilantes — to drugs.

This is why Duterte ordered the drug war suspended through a memorandum issued last month, which removed police from anti-drug operations and left the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) as the sole agency responsible for combating illegal drugs.

Source: Coconuts Manila, November 14, 2017

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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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