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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…

China: Chinese man declared innocent 13 years after death penalty

A man from south China's Guangdong Province was pronounced innocent by a local court after being sentenced to death for murder 13 years ago, Xinhua reported Friday.

Xu Hui, a resident of Zhuhai city in Guangdong, was given the death penalty with a 2-year reprieve for raping and killing a 19-year-old girl by the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court in 2001.

Xu repeatedly protested his innocence but all the appeals were rejected by local courts until the Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) found the suspect's confession contradicted evidence provided in 2007.

Under the instruction of the SPP, the People's Procuratorate in Guangdong suggested the Guangdong Provincial Higher People's Court rehear the case in 2008. On Sep 9, the Zhuhai Intermediate People's Court brought in a verdict of not guilty.

Source: IANS, Sept. 25, 2014

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