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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…

Alabama inmate who twice avoided execution dies in prison infirmary

Alabama's death chamber
A 66-year-old man who killed a Birmingham woman and then escaped from prison and killed a 68-year-old man has died.

Donald Thigpen died Tuesday night in the William Donaldson Corrections Facility in Jefferson County after serving 45 years for the murders which happened in the 1970s.

Thigpen was found unresponsive in his infirmary bed at 7:55 p.m., according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office, and pronounced dead five minutes later. There was no foul play in his death.

Thigpen was convicted in May 1972 shotgun shooting death of his girlfriend, Cassie Lee Davis. The shooting happened in one of Birmingham's public housing communities where the victim lived. Authorities said Birmingham Housing Authority officials had told Davis that Thigpen could not live with her and that had been conveyed to Thigpen.

Witnesses testified that Thigpen, while gathering his belongings to leave, picked up the single-barrel, sawed-off shotgun from a table, pointed it at Davis and fired. He then left the apartment and returned a moment later, asking, "Did I kill her?" The shooting happened in front of a public housing manager.

Thigpen was convicted and sentenced to death. The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals later reduced to the sentence to life in prison.

While serving that life sentence, Thigpen and 10 other inmates in April 1975 escaped from Alabama's Holman Prison. The next day, Thigpen and another one of the escapees, came across a 68-year-old farmer who was building a fence along a roadway way.

Authorities said one of the escapees killed Henry Lambeth with an ax or fence post and fled in his pickup truck. Again, Thigpen was sentenced to death but escaped execution when the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals ruled out the death penalty statute under which Thigpen was sentenced.

Source: AL.com, Carol Robinson, June 6, 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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