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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…

Israel: Bill approving death penalty for terrorists passes preliminary Knesset vote

The Knesset
Despite refusal of haredi MKs to join coalition for vote, bill making it easier for courts to condemn terrorists to death passes first vote.

A bill which would make it easier for both civilian and military courts to sentence terrorists found guilty of murder to death passed its first reading in the Knesset Wednesday, winning a narrow plurality of 52 to 49 in the 120 member legislature.

The proposal, which was introduced by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party, was backed by most of the 66-member governing coalition.

The United Torah Judaism party, however, abstained from the vote, withholding its six votes after the haredi faction failed to reach an agreement with Liberman regarding another piece of legislation proposed by the Shas party.

Earlier on Wednesday, Liberman stormed out of a meeting with UTJ leaders after the haredi faction demanded that the Defense Minister back the "Supermarket Law", which would enable the Interior Minister to nullify local bylaws permitting the opening of businesses on the Sabbath.

Liberman has expressed his opposition to the law, calling it ‘religious coercion’.

After the Defense Minister failed to agree to drop his opposition to the proposal, haredi MKs warned they would be unable to support his proposal to reduce the requirements for imposing the death penalty on terrorists, saying that they would have to consult the party’s spiritual leaders for guidance on the issue.

If it passes its second and third readings, the law would allow army courts to sentence terrorists found guilty of murder to death with only a simple majority. Under current law, the death penalty may only be imposed by unanimous decision.

The law would also permit state criminal courts to impose the death penalty under the same conditions.

Israel has not used the death penalty since the 1962 execution of SS officer Adolf Eichmann.

Source: israelnationalnews.com, January 3, 2018



Minister Steinitz comes out against death penalty for terrorists


Energy Ministry Minister Yuval Steinitz on Wednesday came out against Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman's bill proposal to impose the death penalty on terrorists.

"It's the worst thing Israel can do to itself," he said during a government meeting on the topic. "The damage to the State of Israel could be massive. We're playing into the hands of our worst enemies."

Source: ynetnews.com, January 3, 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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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?