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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…

Malaysia: 25-year-old property agent sent to the gallows for drug trafficking

Gallows
A woman could not hold back her tears at the High Court here today when her son Hari Singh Kanda was sentenced to the gallows for trafficking 32.3 grams of heroin and 18.1 grams of monoacetylmorphine last year.

The mother, who sat at the court's public gallery was calm when Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohamad Shariff Abu Samah read out his judgement after hearing submissions from both defendant and prosecution team today.

However, the woman in her 50s, burst into tear after Shariff meted out the sentence against the 25-year-old property agent after reading the 131-pages of judgement sheet.

Hari Singh, clad in a grey shirt, put up a calm demeanor and several people, believed to be his family members and friends, got up and hugged him after the proceeding.

He was charged under Section 39(B)(1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which carries the death penalty upon conviction.

Shariff said the defendant had failed to raise reasonable doubt in the prosecution's case.

"I am satisfied that the testimonies from 10 prosecution's witnesses were true.

"I do not believe that the accused was a victim or that he was framed by the police," he said.

Shariff said the accused had indeed held a red plastic bag which contained the contraband item (drugs).

"The police seized the red plastic bag from his right hand," he added.

The accused represented by lawyers Datuk Geethan Ram Vincent and Datuk Rajpal Singh when pleaded for lenience sentence said it was the 1st offence committed by their client.

The court then allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Ahmad Nazneen Zulkifli prosecuted.

Source: New Straits Times, July 31, 2017

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