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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…

UAE: Teenager gets death penalty for stabbing man to death in row over football

SHARJAH - A 19-year-old Pakistani student has been handed the death penalty for stabbing to death a countryman in a row over a football match.

The teenager claimed that he stabbed the victim in self-defence in Bu Taina, Sharjah, in August 2015, after the man attacked him with a knuckle duster.

Sharjah Criminal Court heard that the student lashed out with a small knife that he brought from his home before fleeing the scene.

The victim, Mohammed Dagher Ahmad, was rushed to Al Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah with the knife still lodged in his chest and he later died.

Hospital staff reported the incident to Sharjah Police and the student was arrested.

At a previous hearing in December last year, family of the deceased refused to pardon the killer and demanded the death penalty.

On Wednesday, they got what they wanted but the verdict shocked the teenager’s father.

"It was kids playing at a football match - there was no premeditated intention to kill him. The verdict is harsh, especially because it was self-defence," he said.

The father said he will refrain from telling his wife the verdict.

"I will not tell her the verdict now, she will be devastated. We will file for appeal and hope that the verdict be overturned and limited to serving time in prison instead of the death sentence," he added.

The verdict is subject to appeal within 15 days of sentencing.

Source: The National, February 22, 2017

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