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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…

Gaza family executes own member for collaborating with Israel

Gaza strip
Gazan family says it killed a relative after being told by Hamas he had helped Israel track down and kill 3 senior Hamas members.

A Gazan family said on Friday it had killed 1 of its relatives, claiming he had helped Israel track down and kill 3 senior Hamas terrorists, including 1 of the man's own kinsmen.

In a statement quoted by Yediot Aharonot, the family of Ahmed Barhoum said it had shot him in the city of Rafah after they were told by Hamas that he had provided information to Israel.

This, the statement said, guided an Israeli air strike during the 2014 Gaza war that targeted the Hamas terrorists.

"In light of our religious and moral commitment we have executed the collaborator Ahmed Barhoum after he was handed over by the resistance factions," the statement said.

The family said they had listened to their relative's confession and saw the evidence against him. The Barhoums are one of Rafah's largest families and well known for their closeness to Palestinian Arab terrorist groups.

Hamas issued a statement praising the Barhoum family's action as illustrating "its nobleness and deep affiliation with the (anti-Israel) resistance", according to Yediot Aharonot.

The Israeli military declined to comment.

Israel killed the 3 Hamas' senior commanders - Rafah Division commander Raed al-Attar, Southern Division commander Mohammed Abu Shmallah and Rafah Division senior commander Mohammed Barhoum - in an air strike in August of 2014.

The targeted killing was a joint operation of the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and the IDF.

While it is unusual to hear of a family executing their own member over alleged "collaboration" with Israel, it is not unusual that such "spies" are executed in Gaza.

Hamas regularly claims to have captured "Israeli spies", and many times it tries them and sentences them to death.

In theory all execution orders in the Palestinian Authority's (PA) territories must be approved by PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who is based in Ramallah and who imposed a moratorium on executions several years ago.

Hamas no longer recognizes Abbas's legitimacy, and has in the past emphatically declared that the death penalty in Gaza can be carried out without his consent.

In April, the group hanged 3 men accused of collaborating with Israel in the killing of senior Hamas commander Mazen Faqha.

Source: Israel National News, January 20, 2018


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"One is absolutely sickened, not by the crimes that the wicked have committed,
but by the punishments that the good have inflicted." -- Oscar Wilde

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