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…

India: Lok Sabha passes Bill mandating death penalty for rape of minors below the age of 12

Indian children
The Lok Sabha [The Lok Sabha is the lower house of India's bicameral Parliament, with the upper house being the Rajya Sabha.] on Monday (July 30) passed the Criminal Amendment Bill mandating death penalty for rape of minors below the age of 12.

The Bill was presented by Minister of State for Home, Kiren Rijuju. The passage of Bill took four hours with ruling and opposition parties deliberating the pros and cons of the Bill.

Rijuju said: “What can be more urgent for a government than the safety and security of women. Let every parent question their son on his conduct.”

While the Congress MP Ranjeet Ranjan proposed some changes to the Bill and said: “The government should fix the accountability of police and doctors who help the culprits. In over 96 percent cases, the perpetrators of rape are known to the victims. Death penalty would add more pressure to the victims. A witness protection scheme must be added to the Bill.”

It may be recalled that Union Cabinet had came up with The Criminal Law Amendment Ordinance, 2018  in the wake of Kathua rape-murder mandating death penalty for the rape of minors below the age of 12.

The new law allows death penalty to those found guilty of raping the girls upto 12 years of age. The new law also stipulates no provision of anticipatory bail in cases of rape with girls aged 16 years. And minimum 20 years imprisonment for rape with girls below 12 years of age.

In the cases of gang rape with girls below 12 years of age, the punishment will be life imprisonment or death penalty. For the cases of rape with girls below 16 years, the jail sentence has been increased from 10 years to 20 years.

In the cases of rape with women, the sentence of 7 years has been increased to 10 years and maximum punishment will be life imprisonment.

The new law also stipulates that in the cases of rape, investigation and trial will have to be completed within 2 months.

Source: India Legal, Bureau, July 31, 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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