FEATURED POST

Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

Image
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: Kill the Death Penalty Bill

The Knesset
By a bare majority, the Knesset has given preliminary approval to a bill sanctioning the death penalty for terrorists. This bill should be pulled and further legislative stages waived, seeing as how it has now fulfilled its political mission and done its duty by those chanting “death to terrorists,” by the politicians competing with one another over fascist legislation, by those on the “extreme” and “moderate” right, and by anyone whose hand didn’t tremble when he raised it to support this bill. The death penalty is nothing but cold-blooded murder carried out by civilian society, and is therefore morally invalid.

In addition, such a law is superfluous and dangerous. The Shin Bet security service’s objection to it rests on the fear that it would lead to kidnappings of Jews abroad to use them in hostage negotiations, or even to murder them to deter implementation of the law. Even Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who sponsored the bill, once opposed it on the argument that revenge is neither a policy nor morally justified. Thus, he in his own words confirmed the suspicion that the bill is really about revenge and not deterrence. He has since changed his tune, once he concluded the bill would provide him with political capital.

But it’s not only the bill’s effect on security that should halt its legislative path. Israel has a wealth of means to deter, punish and even take revenge against terrorists who carry out their murderous deeds in the name of national or religious ideology. Executing them would only elevate their status and turn them into martyrs and role models.

To buttress these points, there is also the dubious legal argument that Israeli law already permits the death penalty when the judges rule unanimously in its favor. However, anyone who takes this tack is still condoning the death penalty in principle, which is a slippery slope toward legislation easing the way to this punishment, which is the goal of the bill’s sponsors.

The gallows will not win the war on terror, but only increase the damage to Israel’s moral strength. The biggest threat to terror is a diplomatic alternative, which is seen by Israel’s government as a greater threat than terror itself.

The above article is Haaretz's lead editorial, as published in the Hebrew and English newspapers in Israel.

Source: Haaretz, Editorial Board, January 5, 2018


⚑ | Report an error, an omission, a typo; suggest a story or a new angle to an existing story; submit a piece, a comment; recommend a resource; contact the webmaster, contact us: deathpenaltynews@gmail.com.


Opposed to Capital Punishment? Help us keep this blog up and running! DONATE!



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

Most Viewed (Last 7 Days)

Singapore executes Michael Garing

Alabama: Tuscaloosa County jury recommends death penalty in capital murder case

Eyewitness to execution: The Sacramento Bee’s coverage of 1992 gas chamber execution

Colorado’s death penalty repeal in holding pattern. Vote margin appears close.

“Texas 7” Member Contests “Law of Parties”

Singapore: Harvesting organs from death row "donors"

Assemblymember Levine Introduces Constitutional Amendment to Abolish California’s Death Penalty

Brunei to pass law that will punish gay sex with death by stoning

A Letter from Sister Helen Prejean to Governor Gavin Newsom

Despite Possible Innocence and Intellectual Disability, Alabama Intends to Execute Rocky Myers