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

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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…

Official Says 15,000 Executed In Iran For Drug Offenses Since 1979

Public Hanging Iran
The secretary of a religious watchdog office in Iran has admitted that since the establishment of the Islamic Republic four decades ago (1979), the authorities have executed 15,000 people for drug-related crimes.

The mid-ranking clergy, Jalil Mohebbi, presented the data in a session attended by the head of the Islamic Republic Judiciary.

According to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)-linked Fars news agency, the spokesman of the judiciary, Parviz Esmaeili, when asked, dismissed the data as "inaccurate" and "devoid of required precision", saying it should not be published.

Behind China, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Saudi Arabia, Viet Nam, and Iraq are respectively the leading countries in the world where the death penalty is carried out.

According to Amnesty International, Iran is one of the last few countries in the world that still executes juvenile offenders. International human rights law strictly prohibits the use of the death penalty against a person who was under 18 at the time of the crime.

"For years, Iranian authorities have used the death penalty to spread a climate of fear in a misguided effort to combat drug trafficking, yet there is not a shred of evidence to show that this is an effective method of tackling crime," deputy director Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa program, Said Boumedouha, said in 2015.

In his latest report, the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights in Iran, Javaid Rehman noted that while executions in the country declined from 507 in 2017 to 253 in 2018, the country still has one of the highest numbers of executions in the world.

An amendment in the law on narcotics-related crimes has played a pivotal role in decreasing the number of executions in Iran.

Source: Radio Farda, Staff, November 3, 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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