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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 Upholds Death Sentences for 9 Filipinos Over 2013 Incursion

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Malaysian court on Monday upheld death sentences handed down to 9 men from the Philippines in connection with an 2013 incursion into the Malaysian part of Borneo island by Philippine fighters seeking to stake an ancient claim.

The incursion by the fighters from the southern Philippines into Malaysia's Sabah state sparked a month-long crisis and at least 27 people were killed when Malaysian troops backed by fighter jets eventually subdued the militants.

The conflict disrupted operations in Sabah's huge palm oil industry and at the time, raised concern that prolonged trouble could dampen investor interest in energy and infrastructure projects in the state.

The 9 were among fighters captured.

A 5-member Federal Court panel unanimously ruled that the death sentences were the most appropriate, upholding a decision by a lower court to increase the penalty from life sentences, according to the state news agency Bernama.

The court also upheld a lower court's decision to release 14 other men who had been held in connection with the fighting in the sleepy Lahad Datu district.

The fighters were from a group that has demanded recognition, and an increased payment from Malaysia, for their claim to be the rightful owners of Sabah, which an ancient sultanate leased to British colonialists in the 19th century.

Malaysia dismissed their demands and the Philippine government repeatedly told the group to put down their weapons and go home.

The fighters declared loyalty to the self-proclaimed Sultan of the southern Philippine region of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram, in the Philippines.

Source: Reuters, January 15, 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?