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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…

Saudi prince saves killer from execution

December 19, 2013: A Saudi sentenced to death for killing another citizen is set to walk free after mediation by a member of the Saudi royal family succeeded in persuading the victim’s relatives to pardon the killer, a Saudi newspaper reported.

Faleh Al Subai was sentenced to death two years ago after he killed Abdul Aziz Al Muneef during a fight in the southern Saudi province of Asir.

The defendant was to be beheaded after the victim’s family refused to pardon him for diya (blood money), according to Sabq newspaper.

It said the victim’s relatives agreed to grant a pardon in court this week in response to mediation by the Prince of Asir Faisal bin Khaled bin Abdul Aziz.

Under Islamic law, which is strictly enforced in Saudi Arabia, a convicted killed can avert execution and walk free if pardoned by the victim’s relatives in return for diya.

Source: emirates24/7, December 19, 2013

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