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…

Iran: 36 Executions in July

Iran, executions
Iran Human Rights (Aug 2, 2018): According to confirmed reports by Iran Human Rights (IHR), the death sentences of at least 36 people were implemented in different Iranian cities in the month of July.

So far in 2018, at least 133 people have been executed, among them four juvenile offenders.

An assessment of the charges of the prisoners who were executed in July shows that 11 prisoners were sentenced to death on Moharebeh (waging war against God) charges, 24 on murder charges, and one on drug-related charges.

Among the prisoners who were executed last month, there was also a woman, says the report. 

Eight of the prisoners who were executed on Moharebeh charges were sentenced to death over the alleged 2017 ISIS attacks on Tehran's parliament and the shrine of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. 

Several reports indicated that some of the executed prisoners were not directly involved in the attacks and were sentenced to death on the charge of having information about the operation and, in some cases, providing the attackers with logistic support.

One of the executions of the last month was based on drug-related charges. It was the second drug-related execution that was reported by IHR after the enforcement of the new drug law on November 14, 2017. 

The new drug law includes a mechanism to decrease death penalty verdicts and reduce the sentence of those prisoners who are sentenced to death or life imprisonment. 

Only half of the executions (18) were announced by the official Iranian news sources. The other 18 cases were confirmed by IHR’s sources. 

The actual number of executions might be higher.

Source: Iran Human Rights, August 3, 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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