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CALIFORNIA (USA): 800,000 SIGNATURES GATHERED TO REPEAL DEATH PENALTY

March 1, 2012: Opponents of capital punishment announced today that they have gathered nearly 800,000 signatures for a November ballot initiative that would repeal the death penalty in California and replace it with life in prison without parole.
If it qualifies for the ballot, the measure would allow Californians to vote on the death penalty for the first time since they approved a 1978 initiative that reinstated and expanded capital punishment. Former San Quentin State Prison Warden Jeanne Woodford, a supporter of the proposal, participated in a news conference outside San Francisco City Hall this morning to announce the signature-gathering total. "California voters are ready to replace the death penalty with life in prison with no chance of parole," Woodford said.
The proposed law is called SAFE California, an acronym for Savings, Accountability and Full Enforcement. The supporters said they are confident it will qualify for the ballot because the number of signatures collected provides an ample margin for the 504,000 valid signatures needed. Simultaneous news conferences on the initiative were held in Sacramento, Los Angeles and San Diego this morning. The measure would change the death sentences of the state's current 725 condemned inmates to life in prison without parole and eliminate capital punishment in the future. The supporters said the measure would save $184 million per year that the state currently spends on maintaining death row and funding the inmates' appeals, which take an average of 25 years to complete. The initiative would allocate $100 million of that savings over a three-year period to local law enforcement agencies to investigate unsolved rapes and murders.
Executions were reinstated in California by a law passed by the Legislature in 1977 and in a 1978 voter initiative led by former state Senator John Briggs, an Orange County Republican, that expanded the application of the death penalty. Since then, California has had 13 executions between 1992 and 2006.
Executions have been on hold since 2006 because of lawsuits in federal and state courts over the state's lethal injection procedures. The initiative supporters began submitting the signatures to the state's 58 country registrars for verification and counting today.
Only one other state – Oregon – has set aside capital punishment by a vote of the people in 1964, though it was reinstated in 1978. Sixteen other states have done away with it through legislation or the courts. (Sources: Bay City News, Sacramento Bee, 01/03/2012)

MOROCCO REJECTS BOMB CASE APPEAL, UPS SENTENCE TO DEATH
USA: 500 TASER DEATHS
MALAYSIA: 3 THAI NATIONALS, MALAYSIAN TO HANG FOR FIREARMS, BULLETS POSSESSION
CHINA: AMENDMENT TO LIMIT USE OF DEATH PENALTY
ARIZONA (USA): 2ND EXECUTION IN THE STATE THIS YEAR
ZAMBIA: WIFE KILLER TO HANG
SAUDI ARABIA: APOSTATE SAUDI WRITER REPENTS AT COURT
CHINA: DEATH-ROW INMATES MAIN SOURCE OF ORGANS
TEXAS (USA): KEITH THURMOND EXECUTED
CHINA: 3 TAIWANESE EXECUTED IN XIAMEN FOR TRAFFICKING 357KG DRUGS
PAKISTAN: SIX SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
EGYPT: TWO SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING FIRST MILITARY VICTIM SINCE UPRISING
MALAYSIA: IRANIAN TO HANG FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING
TAIWAN: MND PUNISHES DOZENS OVER WRONGFUL EXECUTION
SINGAPORE: TRAFFICKER ON DEATH ROW ESCAPES GALLOWS
IRAN: SUPREME COURT ORDERS RETRIAL OF EX-MARINE SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAN: ANNUAL REPORT ON THE DEATH PENALTY IN 2011
INDIA: TRIPLE MURDER ACCUSED GETS DEATH SENTENCE
NIGERIA: SUPREME COURT FREES MAN-EATER 15 YEARS LATER
EGYPT: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR TORTURING WIFE TO DEATH
TANZANIA: MARIAM`S KILLER MUST HANG TO DEATH
JAPAN: TOP COURT REJECTS APPEAL, FINALIZING DEATH PENALTY FOR MURDER-ROBBERY
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO: MARLON KING SENTENCED TO HANG
MALAYSIA: MINISTER FOR ABOLISHING DEATH PENALTY
GAZA: DEATH PENALTY UPHELD FOR MURDER
INDIA: MAN GETS DEATH SENTENCE FOR RAPE AND MURDER OF SCHOOLGIRL

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IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, THE HANGING OF THE PROTESTER MOSTAFA SALEHI IS A SHAME FOR THE SO-CALLED DEMOCRATIC WORLD 
  USA: ‘BLACK LIVES MATTER’, BUT IS IT ONLY RACISM?  
  IRAN. HANDS OFF CAIN, REDUCTION OF DRUG EXECUTIONS BUT NUMBERS REMAIN WORRISOME  
  HUMAN RIGHTS: DEMONSTRATION OF THE RADICAL PARTY BEFORE IRANIAN EMBASSY 14 FEBRUARY  
  BELARUS EXECUTES TWO CONVICTED MURDERERS  
  MALAYSIA: GOVT HALTS EXECUTION OF 1,200 DEATH ROW INMATES  
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