California: With state executions on hold, death penalty foes rethink ballot strategy

California advocates of abolishing the death penalty got a jolt of momentum in March, when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he would not allow any executions to take place while he was in office.
But after trying twice this decade to persuade voters to end capital punishment, they have no plans to go to the ballot again in 2020. Rather than seeking to build on Newsom’s temporary reprieve for Death Row inmates, activists are taking their own pause.
Grappling with the legacy of their two failed initiatives, advocates are reassessing their strategy and retooling their message. Natasha Minsker, a political consultant who has long been involved with abolition efforts, said the governor’s moratorium has given advocates the opportunity to do long-term planning.
“There’s this excitement and energy in our movement that we haven’t had in a long time,” Minsker said.
Newsom’s executive order caught many Californians by surprise. Although he supported the unsuccessful ballot measures to abolish t…

Former Brigadier Hanged In Pakistan For Spying, Claims Social Media Reports

Pakistan flag
According to unverified reports emanating from Pakistani social media, Pakistan Army on Saturday (23 November) hanged Brigadier Raja Rizwan (retd) for acting as a spy for a foreign intelligence agency, report The Print.

No independent or official confirmation of the hanging is available in the official forum and mainstream media has not reported about the incident. Journalists in Pakistan are still waiting for the official word from ISPR.

In May this year, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), which is Pakistani military’s information agency, had issued a statement saying Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had endorsed the death sentence.

In June Brigadier Rizwan, who was once Pakistani defence attaché in Germany and had retired in 2014, along with Pakistan’s former Director General of Military Operations, Lieutenant General Javed Iqbal (Retd) were accused of spying for the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Brigadier Rizwan and Wasim Akram, a civilian doctor employed by an army organisation, were sentenced to death while Lt Gen Iqbal, was sentenced to 14 years in jail.

On 22 February ISPR Chief Major General Asif Ghafoor had confirmed the arrests of the senior officers in a press conference.

At the time, he had said that the 2 cases were not linked to each other, and there was no network of spies as such, a claim that sources in the Indian establishment said was completely untrue.

CIA had recruited both of them earlier in their careers to get information on Pakistan’s nuclear programme and the Army’s plans and support to jihadi groups.

Source: swarajyamag.com, Staff, November 30, 2019

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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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