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…


September 21, 2007: Desmond Tutu, the archbishop of Cape Town and 1984 Nobel Peace laureate has called on the UN to vote in favour of abolishing the death penalty worldwide. “Such is the world sentiment against the death penalty (with notable exceptions like the United States, China, and Singapore) that a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions and the abolition of capital punishment is to go before the UN General Assembly in October.”

In his analysis, Tutu writes that the case for abolition becomes more compelling with each passing year. Everywhere, experience shows us that executions brutalise both those directly involved in the process and the society that carries them out.

Nowhere has it been shown that the death penalty reduces crime or political violence. In country after country, it is used disproportionately against the poor or against racial or ethnic minorities. It is often used as a tool of political repression.

It is imposed and inflicted arbitrarily. It is irrevocable and results inevitably in the execution of people innocent of any crime. It is a violation of fundamental human rights. (Sources: IPS, 21/09/2007)

Source : Hand Off Cain

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