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: Dummy Execution Of Four Death-Row Convicts In Nirbhaya Gangrape Case Held In Tihar

The four convicts will be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail.

Days ahead of their actual hanging, a dummy execution of the four death row convicts in the Nirbhaya gangrape case was carried out at Tihar Jail on Sunday, prison officials said.

A Delhi court had pronounced on Tuesday that the convicts -- Mukesh (32), Pawan Gupta (25), Vinay Sharma (26) and Akshay Kumar Singh (31) -- will be hanged on January 22 at 7 am in Tihar Jail.

A team of prison officials performed dummy execution of the four convicts. 

The dummies were created using sacks filled with debris and stones as per the weight of the convicts, a senior jail official said.

The execution of all four convicts will take place in Jail No 3, he said, adding that the UP Prison authority has confirmed that Pawan Jallad from Meerut will be sent to hang them.

The Tihar authorities had written to the Uttar Pradesh prison authorities, seeking the services of two hangmen from the state for the execution, as it did not have in house employees for the same.

All the four convicts are likely to be hanged simultaneously.

The jail authorities were also holding conversations with the convicts on a daily basis to ensure that they were in a good mental state, the official said. 

The four are among six men who had gangraped and murdered a 23-year-old paramedic student in New Delhi in 2012. A fortnight later, on December 29, 2012, she succumbed in a Singapore hospital. 

The case had sparked off nationwide protests. 

While one of the accused was a juvenile, another was convicted and allegedly committed suicide in jail, leaving four of them to face the death penalty. 

Source: outlookindia.com, PTI, January 13, 2020

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