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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…

Morocco sentences man to death over MP killing

Morocco has not abolished the death penalty but has not carried out any executions since 1993.

A Moroccan court sentenced to death a man over the murder of a member of parliament and jailed his widow, in a case involving sex and money, the government said Tuesday.

Abdellatif Merdas, who was a member of the liberal Constitutional Union party, was gunned down near his house in Casablanca in March last year.

A local councillor, Hicham Mouchtari, was sentenced to death on Monday after he was convicted of "premeditated murder", the justice ministry said.

Merdas's widow, Ouafae Bensamadi, was given a life sentence, and a female acquaintance of hers described as a "fortune-teller" was sentenced to 20 years in jail.

According to media reports of the investigation, Bensamadi had been having an affair with Mouchtari, who killed Merdas with the help of a nephew -- who was sentenced Monday to 30 years in jail.

The motives were "sex, money and vengeance," the state prosecutor said during the investigation, dismissing any political reason for the killing of Merdas.

Bensamadi, who consulted the fortune-teller, had allegedly been abused by her husband and was seeking revenge, according to media reports citing the investigation.

Source: Agence France-Presse, January 16, 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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