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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…

Erdogan: Turkey can hold referendum on death penalty

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey could hold a referendum on reinstating the death penalty, if parliament fails to pass such a measure.

Erdogan made the comment on Friday while campaigning for a "yes" vote in a referendum on whether to expand his powers.

Since a failed coup in July, Erdogan has frequently told supporters who call for the death penalty at his rallies that he would sign off on any parliamentary vote to restore capital punishment.

On Friday, he went a step further, saying a referendum could be held if parliament fails to reinstate it.

Turkey abolished the death penalty more than a decade ago. European leaders say talks on Turkey's bid to join the EU would end if Ankara restores the death penalty.

Source: Associated Press, February 24, 2017

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