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Will the Supreme Court Kill The Death Penalty This Term?

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Will the U.S. Supreme Court add the fate of the death penalty to a term already fraught with hot-button issues like partisan gerrymandering, warrantless surveillance, and a host of contentious First Amendment disputes?
That’s the hope of an ambitious Supreme Court petition seeking to abolish the ultimate punishment. But it runs headlong into the fact that only two justices have squarely called for a reexamination of the death penalty’s constitutionality.
Abel Hidalgo challenges Arizona’s capital punishment system—which sweeps too broadly, he says, because the state’s “aggravating factors” make 99 percent of first-degree murderers death-eligible—as well as the death penalty itself, arguing it’s cruel and unusual punishment.
He’s represented by former acting U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal—among the most successful Supreme Court practitioners last term. Hidalgo also has the support of several outside groups who filed amicus briefs on his behalf, notably one from a group including Ari…

British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford on death row in Bali faces losing last-ditch appeal

Lindsay Sandiford
Lindsay Sandiford, Kerobokan prison, Bali
A British grandmother on Death Row for drug-smuggling faces losing her last chance to escape the firing squad after thousands of pounds to fund a final appeal went missing.

Well-wishers and church groups raised £40,000 to help Lindsay Sandiford, 61, appeal against the death penalty for smuggling 10 lb of cocaine into Bali in 2012.

The money was paid into accounts controlled by Indonesian legal advocate Ursa Supit, who used to work with British charity Reprieve.

But 18 months after receiving the funds, Supit has failed to lodge an appeal – despite withdrawing £7,800 to make the arrangements.

She has also refused requests from Sandiford to produce bank statements to account for the remaining money and has now cut off all contact with her.

Friends of Supit say the 45-year-old is a drug addict and is unable to account for the funds.

Sandiford, of Redcar, Teesside, said: ‘I could now be taken away and executed at any time.’

Supit is living on an island near Bali where she bought a three-year lease on a complex of holiday bungalows.

She did not respond to calls from The Mail on Sunday.

Sandiford has had no legal representation since her previous lawyer was jailed for corruption in an unrelated case in 2015.

The British Government has refused to fund her appeal.

Source: Mail Online, George Knowles, July 15, 2017

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