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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…

Japan: Death penalty sought for Peruvian man charged with string of six slayings in Saitama

Gallows trapdoor at Tokyo Detention Center
SAITAMA – Prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for a 32-year-old Peruvian man accused of killing six people, including two girls, after breaking into their suburban homes north of Tokyo in 2015.

Lawyers defending Vayron Jonathan Nakada Ludena at the Saitama District Court argue he is not mentally fit to stand trial.

Nakada Ludena broke into three homes in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, in September 2015 to steal money and valuable items and killed the occupants, according to the indictment.

The victims were Minoru Tasaki, 55, his wife, Misae, 53, Kazuyo Shiraishi, 84, and 41-year-old Miwako Kato and her two daughters, 10-year-old Misaki and 7-year-old Haruka.

Nakada Ludena was arrested on Oct. 8 the same year in connection with the deaths of the Tasakis, after being hospitalized following his plunge from a second-floor window at Kato’s home on Sept. 16. Police subsequently served him with further arrest warrants related to the other victims.

Prosecutors said his actions were “extremely cruel and merciless” and “it can be rationally surmised that he broke into the houses to steal money and goods and killed to eliminate obstacles.”

“The defendant hasn’t shown regret or even the least sense of propriety. This makes me furious,” Kato’s 45-year-old husband said at the trial.

Source: Japan Times, February 19, 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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