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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…

Governor Perry approaching dubious mark for executions in Texas

Rick Perry (left) became Governor of Texas in 2001, and to date has presided over 231 executions, more than any other governor in American history.

After the death penalty was re-legalized in the USA on July 2, 1976, Texas resumed executions on December 7, 1982, and to date, has put to death 470 condemned inmates, including 6 (of the nation's 24) executions this year.

Below is a list of impending Texas executions in the weeks and months ahead; please note that likely before the end of this year, Rick Perry will have presided over (more than) half of all people executed in Texas.


date/name of impending execution---------# executed under Gov Perry------# executed in Texas since 1982


July 7--Humberto Leal---------------------------------232----------------------------------------471

July 20---Mark Stroman-------------------------------233----------------------------------------472

Aug. 10--Martin Robles-------------------------------234-----------------------------------------473

Aug. 18--Larry Swearingen----------------------------235----------------------------------------474

Aug. 23--Randall Mays--------------------------------236----------------------------------------475

Aug. 30--Ivan Cantu-----------------------------------237----------------------------------------476

Sept. 13--Steven Woods------------------------------238----------------------------------------477

Sept. 15--Duane Buck--------------------------------239----------------------------------------478-----50%

Sept. 20--Cleve Foster-------------------------------240----------------------------------------479

Sept. 21--Lawrence Brewer--------------------------241----------------------------------------480 under Gov. Perry

NOTE: A Texas governor can only commute a death sentence if the 7-member Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles makes a favorable recommendation of clemency. Otherwise, a governor could issue a 1-time 30-day stay of execution for a condemned inmate. In the 230 executions carried out thus far under Rick Perry, the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles has recommended clemency for a condemned inmate only 1 time, by a 6-1 vote for Kelsey Patterson; Gov. Perry, who is not bound to follow a clemency recommendation, rejected it and Patterson was put to death.

Source: Rick Halperin, June 26, 2011
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