Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Some Irish Prisons Unsafe

A report by the (COE) Committee for the Prevention of Torture claims that three Irish prisons – St. Patrick’s, Mountjoy and Limerick – are unsafe and degrading due to a high rate of inter-prisoner violence and intimidation, which it links to a lack of activities and the easy availability of drugs. Detainees interviewed also claimed that they were frequently subjected to abuse (verbal and physical) when arrested. The Irish government has made the Report public (which it is not required to do) and claims that it is working to ensure adequacy of activities and to restrict the availability of illegal drugs inside prisons.

Irish Independent; Irish Times

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Wednesday, 26 September 2007

US Supreme Court to Hear Death Penalty Case

The US Supreme Court yesterday confirmed that it would hear Baze v. Rees (07-543) in the upcoming term. The case will involve the Court in considering what standard ought to be used to determine whether a particular combination of chemicals used in a lethal injection causes excessive pain and suffering and ought not to be allowed. The case does not involve an imminent execution, therefore it is unlikely that briefing and hearings will be expedited, but it will mark the first time the Court has considered the constitutionality of various methods of execution since Wilkerson v. Utah, decided in 1878.

Also talking about this grant of certiorari: SCOTUSBlog, Sentencing Law and Policy Blog, Ohio Death Penalty Information, New York Times

See the petition for certiorari here and the supplemental filing here.

In a tangential development, Italy yesterday urged UN member states to consider imposing a global moritorium on the death penalty with a view to its abolition - UN News Centre report.

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