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…

India: Death penalty, lynching, castration of rapists demanded in Hyderabad vet’s rape

Lynching the rapists, death penalty and castration of the accused were some of the suggestions that Parliamentarians proposed on Monday as they expressed outrage over the 26-year-old veterinarian’s rape in Hyderabad. 

Union Minister Rajnath Singh, meanwhile, said that the Centre is “ready for discussions to curb such crimes”.

Leading the chorus of angry parliamentarians, Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan Monday said rapists should be “brought out in public and lynched.” “I don’t know how many times I’ve stood and spoken after this kind of crime. I think it is time… whether Nirbhaya or Kathua or what happened in Telangana… I think the people now want the government to give a proper and definite answer,” she said in Rajya Sabha. She also added that the security personnel in charge of the area where the crime took place be held accountable and questions be asked. “I think these people need to be shamed in front of the entire country.”

Four men have been accused of raping and murdering a 26-year-old woman in Hyderabad on Wednesday night.

RELATED Hyderabad vet murder: Four accused sent to 14-day judicial custody, protestors demand death penalty

According to the probe, one of them deflated her bike’s tyre. When she returned from work, two of them offered help. When she agreed, they dragged her to an abandoned room, raped her and later burnt her.

Surgical or chemical castration

DMK’s P Wilson suggested castration to keep a check on the repeat offenders. The court should be empowered to surgically and chemically castrate convicted rapists before they are released from jails and the cost of such a procedure should be recovered from the accused by selling his assets, he said. He also added that a list of sexual offenders should also be made public.

Describing the incident as a disgrace to humanity, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu said, “What is required is not a new bill. What is required is political will, administrative skill, change of mindset and then go for killing the social evil.” He also suggested a rethink on the practice of allowing convicts in heinous crimes to go in for mercy appeals.

Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said the society will have to tackle this problem at its root. 

The guilty should be given stringent punishment without any discrimination of religion or caste, he said, adding that no government or leader would want that such incident occurs in their state.

Fast-track courts

Sanjay Singh of the Aam Adami Party (AAP) said stringent action in all cases of sexual assault on women should be taken after a trial in fast track court and punishment given within a timeframe. Amar Patnaik of the BJD demanded death for such heinous crimes. 

While T K Rangarajan of CPM said laws be framed to tackle crime are not percolating down, Vaiko of the DMK wanted concrete action be taken to deal with such crimes.

While Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD) said deterrence is not enough, R K Sinha of the BJP said capital punishment is yet to be given to the guilty of the 2012 gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi due to appeals in the case.

In Lok Sabha, Congress MP Uttam Kumar Reddy slammed the state police for initially delaying to lodge a case. 

Saugat Roy (TMC) said rape convicts should be hanged. Pinaki Misra (BJD) questioned the delay in executing the death sentence awarded to convicts in the “Nirbhaya” gang-rape case. He said laws and establishment on fast track courts will not make a difference till the time the death sentences are not executed.

Source: indianexpress.com, Staff, PTI, December 2, 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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