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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…

Bangladesh court sentences 39 people to death for murder

A Bangladesh court Tuesday sentenced dozens of men to death for the brazen daylight murder of a ruling party official in 2014, officials said.

Ekramul Haque, the then Awami League leader in eastern Feni district, was dragged from his vehicle by a mob and hacked with machetes before being shot at point blank range.

The 47-year-old was then placed back inside his vehicle, which was torched. A number of those travelling with the local party leader were injured in the brutal assault.

Court inspector Nojibul Islam told AFP that a judge in Feni district Tuesday sentenced 39 men to death by hanging for the crime. Sixteen others were acquitted.

"We will go to appeal in the higher court against the order," said defence lawyer Rana Das Gupta.

Bangladesh has a history of delivering death sentences in mass trials.

In November, a court upheld death sentences against 139 soldiers for the grisly murders of dozens of senior army officers in a 2009 mutiny.

Last August, 10 Islamist militants were sentenced to death over a failed plot to assassinate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by detonating a bomb at one of her rallies.

Source: Agence France-Presse, March 13, 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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