Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?

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…

Sudan Court Overturns Death Sentence of Teenager Who Killed Husband That Raped Her

Sudan woman
An appeals court in Sudan has overturned the death sentence of a teenager who killed her husband after he allegedly raped her, instead sentencing her to five years in prison, the BBC reports.

Noura Hussein, 19, was sentenced by an Islamic court in May to death by hanging for stabbing her husband and cousin, Abdulrahman Mohamed Hammad, whom she was forced to marry when she was 16 years old. He was also twice her age at the time of their wedding.

After refusing to have sex with him, Hussein said he raped her while his brother and cousins held her down. When Hammad allegedly tried to rape her again the next day, she stabbed him to death with a knife.

Fearing retribution, Hussein’s parents turned her into the police, according to the BBC.

Hussein’s case sparked international outrage. Over one million people signed an online petition, #JusticeforNoura, to overturn her death penalty, also gaining the endorsement of celebrities like Naomi Campbell, Mira Sorvino and Emma Watson.

The case has brought international attention to the issue of forced marriage in the Northeast African nation, where girls as young as 10 years old can be legally married and courts do not consider marital rape a crime, according to Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty International hailed the court’s decision to overturn her sentence as “hugely welcome news,” but said Hussein’s five-year prison sentence was a “disproportionate punishment.”

“The Sudanese authorities must take this opportunity to start reforming the laws around child marriage, forced marriage and marital rape, so that victims are not the ones who are penalized,” Amnesty said in a statement.

According to a 2017 UNICEF report, one third of girls in Sudan are married before they turn 18.

Source: TIME, Casey Quackenbush, June 27, 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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