By John Woolfolk | [email protected] | Bay Area News Group May 23, 2018 at 2:29 pm U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein built her very long and successful political career staking out the Democratic party’s moderate turf: For gun control, for the environment, for Obamacare, for the death penalty. Well, not so much that last bit anymore. Feinstein revealed Wednesday that she’s shed her support for the death penalty “as it exists today.” “Several years ago I changed my view of the death penalty,” Feinstein said in a statement. “It became crystal clear to me that the risk of unequal application is high and its effect on deterrence is low.” Feinstein — now facing a primary challenge to her re-election from more liberal Democrats — never trumpeted her flip on the death penalty, which was hotly debated in California just two years ago with dueling ballot initiatives to end executions or hurry them up. Voters in … [Read more...] about When did Dianne Feinstein start opposing the death penalty?
Public support for the death penalty
Mark Berman, The Washington Post Published 12:19 pm, Monday, May 21, 2018 Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday called for reviving the death penalty in his state, which banned the practice in 2011 and has not carried out an execution in nearly two decades. Rauner's proposal breaks with recent history, which has seen Illinois among several states that have shifted away from capital punishment by freezing or outright abolishing the practice. In his announcement, Rauner said the death penalty should be reinstated for mass murderers or people who kill members of law enforcement. "Individuals who commit mass murder, individuals who choose to murder a law enforcement officer, they deserve to have their life taken," Rauner, a Republican who took office in 2015 and is up for reelection this year, said at a news conference. "They deserve that." Nineteen states have abolished the death penalty, and Illinois is among the seven that have done so since 2007, according to the Death Penalty … [Read more...] about Illinois governor wants state to revive death penalty for mass murderers and people who kill police
Only 17 people have been executed so far this year, a 32 percent decline from the number of executions in the same period last year.The drop in the number of executions comes as support for the death penalty wanes, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req. ) reports. Last year only 61 percent of Americans favored the death penalty, compared with 80 percent in 1994, according to a Gallup poll.The Wall Street Journal attributes the slowdown primarily to three factors: the short supply of execution drugs; growing scrutiny of expert testimony and evidence; and the U.S. Supreme Court decision Hurst v. Florida, which held that jurors, rather than judges, must make findings on facts necessary to impose the death penalty.In response to the decision, Florida passed a new law that allowed jurors to recommend the death penalty on a 10-2 vote. The Florida Supreme Court struck down the law on Oct. 14, saying that jurors must be unanimous in recommending the death penalty.The New York Times notes the … [Read more...] about Executions fall along with support for the death penalty; is capital punishment nearing an end?
If ever there was a case for the death penalty, the rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie in rural North Carolina in 1983 surely was it for those who supported capital punishment.The girl’s battered and unclothed body was found in a soybean field near her home. The community was sickened, frightened and wanted swift justice. Two days later, police arrested two teenagers who confessed under intense questioning. One got death; the other life.Then last September, Henry Lee McCollum, 50, on death row for 30 years, was exonerated after DNA evidence pointed to another man who lived a block from where the girl’s body was found. The man had admitted to committing a similar rape and murder around the same time.McCollum’s half-brother, Leon Brown, 46, sentenced to life for having a role in the crime, also was released. Both men, who are mentally disabled, recanted their confessions many times, saying they implicated themselves under pressure from police.If ever there was … [Read more...] about Faith and fiscal responsibility cause many conservatives to change their view of the death penalty
The number of death sentences awarded by Courts and the executions carried out in the US both dropped to historic lows in 2015, according to an annual report on capital punishment published on Wednesday.Nationally, the number of new death sentences awarded has dropped from a peak of 315 in 1996 to a projected low of 49 in 2015, a 33 percent decline from what was already a 40-year low in 2014. In 2014, there were 73 death sentences awarded by the courts. That number has dropped further to 49 this year.A brewing controversy over drugs used in a series of botched lethal injections has contributed significantly to this marked decline in the number of executions in the United States in 2015.The non-profit Death Penalty Information Center which has authored this report said in a statement that the 28 executions so far in 2015, was the lowest number since 1991.In 2014, there were a total of 35 executions, the lowest number since 1994 when there were 31. The number has dropped most years since … [Read more...] about Executions on a downward trend in the U.S; Death Penalty hits record low in 2015