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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…

Botswana: Inmate on Six Death Sentences Executed

May 27, 2013: A Botswana man who was handed six death sentences for murdering his family after a misunderstanding over food was executed.

The Botswana Prison Service confirmed that Orelesitse Modise Thokamolemo’s hanging was carried out early in the morning at Gaborone Central Prison.

The capital punishment came after a death sentence was imposed on him on December 9, 2010 by the Francistown High Court for the offence.

The Court of Appeal last month struck out an appeal against the sentence.

Thokamolemo had approached the Court of Appeal for both conviction and death sentence.

The trial court found that Thokamolemo killed six members of his family, among them his brother and a four-month-old baby using an axe in January 2008.

“After anxious inquiring of mind of this matter, I also find no misdirection by the trial court in considering the effect of dagga taken by the appellant and giving it weight,” Judge Isaac Lesetedi said last month.

Source: africareview.com, May 28, 2013

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