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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…

Delaware: Dover man on death row resentenced to life in prison

A Dover man on death row for 1st-degree murder has had his death sentence vacated, officials from the Delaware Department of Justice confirmed Tuesday.

Juan J. Ortiz, who had been on death row since 2003, is now sentenced to mandatory life in prison without benefit of probation or parole.

Ortiz had been convicted of 1st-degree murder for the 2001 shooting death of his live-in girlfriend Deborah Clay.

Court documents in that case show Ortiz had shot his girlfriend with a 12 gauge shotgun while she was taking a shower and then set their mobile home on fire.

Last year the Delaware Supreme Court ruled the state's death penalty as unconstitutional. 

The Court declared that ruling as retroactive, meaning the state's death row inmates would be resentenced.

Source: WMDT news, February 22, 2017

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