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UNITED STATES. SUPREME COURT TOSSES DEATH SENTENCE

June 20, 2005: the US Supreme Court ordered a new trial for Ronald Rompilla, a Pennsylvania man on death row for a 1988 murder, ruling that his lawyers had failed to properly represent him.
For the second week in running, the court, normally seen as conservative on capital cases, ruled in favour of a defendant.
In a 5-4 ruling, justices found that Rompilla's lawyers had failed to adequately look into background evidence about the convicted man's mental capacity and health.
Justice David Souter wrote in a majority opinion that even when a capital defendant and his family have suggested there is no mitigating evidence "his lawyer is bound to make reasonable efforts to obtain and review material that counsel knows the prosecution will probably rely on as evidence of aggravation at the trial's sentencing phase."
Rompilla had argued his lawyers had inadequately looked into mitigating evidence that he had a troubled childhood and suffered from mental illness and alcoholism. (Sources: Afp, 20/06/2005)

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CHINA. WOMAN EXECUTED FOR ORGANISING DRUG RING
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SENEGAL PRESIDENT ABDOULAYE WADE PLEDGES TO LEAD IN AFRICA
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MEXICO. HOUSE APPROVES MEASURE TO PROHIBIT DEATH PENALTY
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THE PHILIPPINES. COURT SENTENCES SEVEN MILITANTS TO DEATH
PA. PALESTINIANS MAY ANNUL RULINGS OF SECURITY COURTS
VIETNAM. LETHAL INJECTION PROPOSED AS EXECUTION METHOD
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PALESTINE. COUNCIL OF EUROPE ASKS NATIONAL PALESTINIAN AUTHORITY TO ABOLISH CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
SAUDI ARABIA. MAN BEHEADED FOR MURDER
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SYRIA. HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS ASK FOR DEMOCRATIC REFORMS AND THE ABOLITION OF THE DEATH PENALTY
BANGLADESH. MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING WIFE

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VATICAN CITY: POPE FRANCIS BLASTS SUPERMAX PRISONS AS ‘TORTURE’
  SOMALIA: ISLAMIST MILITANTS STONE 18-YEAR-OLD TO DEATH FOR RAPE  
  UNITED KINGDOM: ‘AID FOR EXECUTIONS’ IN SPOTLIGHT AS PAKISTAN SET TO RESTART HANGINGS  
  IRAQ: KURDISTAN PARLIAMENT LAW COMMITTEE, ‘A FINAL DECISION MUST BE TAKEN ON THE DEATH PENALTY’  
  IRAN: PRISONER HANGED AFTER SIX YEARS ON DEATH ROW  
  ZIMBABWE: HIGH COURT RULES OUT CAPITAL PUNISHMENT  
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