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

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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…

U.S. elections: The Candidates on the Death Penalty

Hillary Clinton : Clinton has been a longtime advocate of the death penalty. Clinton cosponsored the Innocence Protection Act of 2003 which became law in 2004 as part of the Justice for All Act . The bill provides funding for post-conviction DNA testing and establishes a DNA testing process for individuals sentenced to the death penalty under federal law. As first lady, she lobbied for President Clinton's crime bill, which expanded the list of crimes subject to the federal death penalty.

Barack Obama : Obama says the death penalty "does little to deter crime" but he supports it for cases in which "the community is justified in expressing the full measure of its outrage." While a state senator, Obama pushed for reform of the Illinois capital punishment system and authored a bill to mandate the videotaping of interrogations and confessions.

John Edwards : Edwards supports the death penalty, saying some crimes "deserve the ultimate penalty." He was a supporter of capital punishment reform while in the Senate and told the Associated Press in 2004 he believes that "we need reforms in the death penalty to ensure that defendants receive fair trials, with zealous and competent lawyers, and with full access to DNA testing."

Dennis Kucinich : Kucinich opposes the death penalty. He says, "Morally, I simply do not believe that we as human beings have the right to 'play God' and take a human life – especially since our human judgments are fallible and often wrong." Kucinich says that his position on the death penalty is "derived from my moral and spiritual convictions."

Chez les Républicains...

Rudolph Giuliani : Giuliani favors the death penalty and has advocated for capital punishment for those who commit treason against the United States. He testified in convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's death penalty trial and urged prosecutors to pursue the death penalty against American Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh. Giuliani has said the death penalty is "justified and [an] effective deterrent for other people doing the same thing."

Source : The Candidates On the Death Penalty

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