California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

South Dakota's First Execution in 60 Years Involves Young "Volunteer"

On July 11, South Dakota carried out its first execution in 60 years, marking only the 15th time the state has carried out a death sentence since 1877.

The state executed 25-year-old Elijah Page after he dropped all appeals and volunteered to die by lethal injection. Page was only 18 at the time of his crime and had a long history of being abused. During his trial, the presiding judge noted, "Most parents treated their pets better than your parents treated you."

Page's decision to drop his appeals meant that his execution was carried out under new lethal injection protocols that have not been examined by the courts.

Since U.S. executions resumed in 1977, 127 inmates have been executed after dropping their appeals.

South Dakota is one of ten states with the death penalty that have carried out only 1 or no executions since reinstating capital punishment.

Source : Death Penalty Information Center

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