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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…

South Africa: Move to revive death penalty

South African police officers
A movement may be afoot to petition for the restoration of the death penalty to deal with the soaring murder rate in the country which makes South Africa one of the countries with the highest murder rate globally.

The death penalty was abolished with the introduction of the democratic dispensation in the country.

Alex based social and political activist Mike Beea said the move was in response to the release of the annual crime statistics by the Minister of Police Fikile Mbalula late last year showing unrelenting violent crime, rape and murder of innocent citizens. “This is further illustrated by weekly statistics of rape, murder, robberies and other crimes making residents of the township fearful of moving freely, particularly in the night on weekends,” said Beea.

“The high levels of crime impede citizens’ rights to safety and freedom of movement enshrined in the Constitution while giving criminals free reign to do as they please.

“All you hear of is inconclusive investigations, making it appear [as though] the criminals have a right to effect an unofficial death penalty on the citizens who feel unprotected by an ineffective rule of law. This despite our globally acclaimed but not implemented Constitution.”

Beea said the petition seeks to restore the right to life of innocent citizens and to rid the country of malcontents who bring misery, suffering and permanent trauma to citizens while they are treated well and protected while in prison.

“They are supported with education and skills training programmes using ordinary citizens’ tax contributions while the dependents of their victims are left traumatised, maimed, sometimes paralysed and impoverished with the loss of breadwinners and without state support or compensation.”

According to Beea the few murderers who are arrested and convicted knew that the justice system will confine them in safe prisons and also that initiatives by civil society entities like Gun Free South Africa were ineffective deterrents.

“It's time for society not to fear accusations of political incorrectness but, to openly agitate for the death penalty as they are the main targets of the horrendous crimes that inflict permanent pain, sorrow and suffering,” said Beea.

He urged the state to also provide scientific evidence and numbers of arrested murderers who were reformed while they were in jail and also alleged that jails appeared to be incubators for hardened criminals as some of them become repeat offenders and brag about their criminal records to instil fear when they are released to communities.

Beea said the movement would seek partnerships with entities promoting Constitutional rights to life and safety and would lobby for the promulgation of tough laws for gun ownership, licencing and training and stop private entities from dealing in guns and other dangerous weapons.

Source: Alex News, Lesho Manala, January 10, 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?