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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…

Saudi Authorities Execute Two Men Convicted of Murder

RIYADH – Two Saudi men were executed on Tuesday for killing two people in the southwestern city of Abha, the interior ministry said in a statement published by the official news agency SPA.

The first convict was identified as Ahmed bin Musa, who was sentenced to death after stabbing another person in a personal dispute.

The other, identified as Abdel Rahman Saad al-Ahmary, was found guilty of shooting and killing a person, according to the interior ministry note.

The two verdicts were issued by the general court and later confirmed by the appeal court and the supreme court of Saudi Arabia, and the execution order was ratified by royal decree, according to the procedure in these cases.

Most of the executions in Saudi Arabia are carried out by beheading, using a strict interpretation of Islamic law or “sharia,” which punishes those guilty of murder, drug trafficking, homosexuality, witchcraft and other crimes with the death penalty.

Human rights organizations have denounced that since the arrival of the monarch Salman bin Abdelaziz to the Saudi throne in January 2015, executions have soared, from 88 in 2014 to 158 in 2015 and 153 in 2016.

Source: LAHT, July 19, 2017

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