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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 Carolina lawmakers to consider electrocuting death row inmates if lethal injection drugs unavailable


South Carolina lawmakers are set to discuss a proposal Wednesday afternoon that would allow the state to execute death row inmates using the electric chair if lethal injection drugs are not available. 

Under current law, criminals sentenced to the death penalty in South Carolina can choose whether to die by lethal injection or electrocution. 

But because the state does not currently have access to the necessary drugs to complete a lethal injection, authorities have not been able to execute anyone in 6 years. 

A bill proposed by state Sen. William Timmons, R-Greenville, would allow the state to electrocute death row inmates if those drugs remain unavailable, even if they elect for lethal injection. 

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The Senate Corrections and Penology Study Committee is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday to debate the measure. 

S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster has also called on the Legislature to pass a "shield law," which would allow companies to sell the drugs to the state confidentially in order to avoid public scrutiny. 

Source: Post and Courier, Jamie Lovegrove, January 10


Todd Kohlhepp victims plead with senators to improve South Carolina system for executions


Victims of Upstate serial killer Todd Kohlhepp on Wednesday pleaded with senators to improve the state's execution system after the state's prisons director said his agency no longer has the ability to carry out lethal injections. 

Sen. William Timmons of Greenville, a former prosecutor, has proposed 2 bills to change that. 

The 1st would shield firms that supply lethal injection drugs and the 2nd would require those sentenced to death to be executed in an electric chair if lethal injection is not available. 

The Senate panel that took both bills up heard testimony and asked for additional information before adjourning. 

Senate Majority Leader Shane Massey, who chairs the subcommittee, said he believes the panel will meet again soon and pass out at least 1 of the bills. 

"I think some of the attention over the last couple of months has educated legislators as to how big of an issue it is," he said. "Right now I'm optimistic something will move forward. I think there clearly is a problem. It's a problem for solicitors. It's a problem for the Department of Corrections and we need to try and fix it." 

Timmons said he is hopeful both of his bills will pass. 

Source: Anderson Independent Mail, 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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