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…

Iraq hands death penalty to al-Qaeda member responsible for massacre 11 years ago

An Iraqi court in the province of Diyala on Sunday sentenced an al-Qaeda member to death, convicted of killing 19 people in an attack on a village 11 years ago, the court announced.

Last week, the same court sentenced 4 more al-Qaeda members to death who were convicted of carrying out attacks in the country in 2007.

"The Diyala Criminal Court has sentenced to death by hanging one of those convicted of terrorism after committing criminal acts and belonging to al-Qaeda," Judge Abdul-Sattar al-Birqdar, the spokesperson for the Supreme Judicial Council, said in a statement.

He added that "among the terrorist operations carried out by the convict, the man killed 19 people, kidnapped 2 others, and wounded 1 person after an attack with the armed group [al-Qaeda] on the village of Amiriyah - al-Rawashd in Diyala Province."

Last year, a court in Basra sentenced 3 people to death for the same attack carried out by several al-Qaeda militants in late July 2007 in the village of al-Rawashd.

The exact number of those accused of the incident remains unknown. It is also unclear how many other convicted members of the extremist group are in Iraqi prisons awaiting the same fate.

Different human rights organizations, including the United Nations, have repeatedly expressed their concerns about the rising number of death sentences in Iraq.

Aside from their condemnation, the organizations warn that efforts by Iraqi authorities to escalate the implementation of death sentences could lead to the execution of innocent people.

Source: kurdistan24.net, August 6, 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?