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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…

Sri Lanka: Govt. will not change decision on death penalty for drug smugglers

President Maithripala Sirisena
President Maithripala Sirisena on Saturday assured that he would not change the decision taken by the Government to implement the death penalty for drug smugglers under any circumstance, despite the objections raised by some factions against the move.

He expressed these views while addressing a ceremony held in Polonnaruwa, commencing the construction of the National Nephrology Hospital. 

Referring to a newspaper report that the Government had changed the decision, the President stated that the Government has not reversed the decision and will take necessary steps to carry out capital punishment for drug smugglers.

The President said he would summon the heads of the fields of judiciary, prisons, and law and order tomorrow to appoint a committee in this regard.

“This committee, which will consist of representatives of all the relevant fields, would make decisions about the convicted personnel who should be executed,” he said.

Source: ft.lk, July 23, 2018


Sri Lanka leader vows to end moratorium on death penalty


Colombo
Sri Lanka's president said the government will still end its 42-year moratorium on capital punishment despite requests by the European Union and other diplomatic missions not to do so.

President Maithripala Sirisena said the decision to implement the death penalty for drug smugglers "will not be changed under any circumstance and despite the objections raised by some factions against the move," according to the president's website.

Rising crime in Sri Lanka, including gang-related killings, narcotics, robberies and sex crimes have led to a public outcry for executions.

Last week, Sirisena said convicted drug traffickers will be hanged as a part of a crackdown on narcotics. The government has said it will execute prisoners who have allegedly taken advantage of the moratorium to continue their drug trade from prison. Drug trafficking carries the death penalty in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka has maintained the moratorium since its last execution in 1976.

No date has been set for the 1st new execution. More than 400 convicts now in prison were sentenced to death, although many have had their sentences commuted to life or are appealing. Of them, 18 were sentenced for drug-related crimes.

Sirisena said he would summon judiciary, prisons and law enforcement heads this week to appoint a committee to decide who should be executed.

The government's decision to end the moratorium drew reaction from the European Union delegation and embassies of Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Romania, Canada and Norway which asked Sirisena to maintain the moratorium and to uphold Sri Lanka's tradition of opposition to capital punishment.

The embassies stressed they oppose capital punishment "in all circumstances and in all cases" and that the death penalty is incompatible with human dignity, does not have any proven deterrent effect, and allows judicial errors to become fatal and irreversible.

Source: Associated Press, July 23, 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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Will the U.S. Finally End the Death Penalty?