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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…

China: Father gets death penalty for killing doctor after newborn daughter dies

Chinese death-row inmates are led off to a nearby execution ground where they will be put to death.
A father from Shandong province whose newborn daughter died in a hospital has been sentenced to death for killing the doctor who treated her.

Chen Jianli, 30, was convicted of the intentional homicide of pediatrician Li Baohua at Laiwu Intermediate People's Court.

"He stabbed the doctor to vent his anger in a public place and used cruel means to kill innocent medical personnel, resulting in great harm to people's personal safety and a negative social impact. We have given him the death penalty," the court said in a statement on Sunday.

The killer has also been deprived of his political rights, it added.

Chen's daughter was born in a hospital in Laiwu in February 2016. The baby developed a fever the next day and was transferred to the pediatric ward for treatment, but she died, the court said.

Prosecutors said the father blamed Li and the hospital for the death, and he sought compensation from both on numerous occasions. When he failed, he decided to get revenge, the court said.

One morning in October 2016, Chen rode a motorcycle to the hospital. On the way he stopped to buy a machete, which he hid in his green canvas bag. Once at the hospital, he went directly to the pediatric ward on the 5th floor and found Li in a break room.

He questioned Li about his daughter's death and the compensation issue. When the doctor did not reply, Chen took out the machete and struck Li in the head as the doctor was answering a phone call.

Li died at the scene, and Chen was detained by police in the hospital.

In recent days, a number of violent attacks on doctors have occurred across the country, attracting attention from the public and media.

Judicial authorities say they have ramped up efforts to punish assailants and have taken a zero-tolerance attitude toward such crimes.

Last week, the Supreme People's Court held a meeting about judicial reform in which it was decided that people who violently target medical personnel, or who are involved in activities that endanger food or drug safety, will be severely punished.

"In China, lots of patients face difficulties in seeing doctors and paying medical fees," said Li Wei, a lawyer with the Beijing Lawyers Association. "Patients and doctors don't have enough trust in each other, which contributes to the high incidence of violence targeting medical personnel.

"Authorities should adopt comprehensive measures and take the time needed to solve the problem thoroughly," she said.

Source: asiaone.com, August 2, 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?