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…

Iran: Five executed over drug charges

Iran Human Rights, February 27: According to the official Iranian media five prisoners have been hanged in three different Iranian cities. All the prisoners are convicted of drug-related charges.

Three prisoners hanged in the prison of Qazvin on February 24:

The official website of the Iranian judiciary in Qazvin reported that three prisoners were hanged in the prison of Qazvin on Sunday February 24. The prisoners were identified as "J." (33) charged with possession of 24 grams of cannabis and 440 grams of Shisheh; "M." (32) charged with possession of 223 grams of heroin and 412 grams of Shisheh and "M." (28) charged with possessing 470 grams of Shisheh.

One prisoner was hanged in the prison of Behbehan, southwestern Iran:

According to the official website of the Iranian judiciary in Khuzestan one prisoner was hanged in the prison of Behbehan Sunday February 24. The prisoner was identified as "A. Gh." and was convicted of trafficking of 3485 grams of crack, said the report.

One prisoner was hanged in the prison of Sari (northern Iran) today:

The official Iranian news agency IRNA reported that one prisoner was executed in the prison of Sari (northern Iran). The prisoner who was not identified by name was convicted of drug trafficking, said the report. No further details were given.

Source: Iran Human Rights, Feb. 27, 2013

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