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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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In the past, abolition efforts have faced a backlash—but Gavin Newsom’s moratorium may be different.
The American death penalty is extraordinarily fragile, with death sentences and executions on the decline. Public support for the death penalty has diminished. The practice is increasingly marginalized around the world. California, with its disproportionately large share of American death-row inmates, announces an end to the death penalty. The year? 1972. That’s when the California Supreme Court declared the death penalty inconsistent with the state’s constitutional prohibition of cruel or unusual punishments—only to have the death penalty restored a year later through popular initiative and legislation.
On Wednesday, again, California walked back its commitment to the death penalty. Though not full-fledged abolition, Governor Gavin Newsom declared a moratorium on capital punishment lasting as long as his tenure in office, insisting that the California death penalty has been an “abject…

Bundesbank Limits China Cooperation on Death Penalty

Germany's Bundesbank said it will exclude Chinese and Vietnamese central bank officials from anti- counterfeiting seminars over concerns about the countries' use of the death penalty for serious cases of forgery.

"The Bundesbank wants to make sure it doesn't give advice on the subject of counterfeiting to countries that impose the death penalty for money forgery," a spokesman for the Frankfurt-based central bank said today, adding that this is currently the case "in at least 2 countries, China and Vietnam."

The Bundesbank will stop inviting officials from the 2 countries' central banks to its seminars on "cash management and combating counterfeit money," it said. It will continue to cooperate on other subjects, from monetary policy to banking supervision.

The move comes after German weekly newspaper Die Zeit reported earlier today that the Bundesbank was supporting Chinese officials in combating forgery and that at least 1 person in the South Chinese province of Hunan has been sentenced to death for counterfeiting.

The Bundesbank said on Jan. 17 it had shelved an anti-counterfeiting venture with the Central Bank of Bangladesh over concerns the country planned to impose the death penalty for serious cases of forgery. Bangladesh's central bank said the next day it would drop the plans.

The Bundesbank is currently examining if countries other than China and Vietnam are imposing the death penalty for forgery, the spokesman said. It has not yet made a decision on whether it will restart the anti-counterfeiting venture with Bangladesh.

Source: Business Week, January 27, 2013

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