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South Africa Suspends Executions

On March 27, 1992, the South African government announced a temporary moratorium on executions in Pretoria. The Minister of Justice said that executions have been suspended until an interim bill of rights has been agreed upon in negotiations between the government and the African National Congress (ANC), who are currently involved in negotiating a new constitution. At this time it isn't known when an agreement on the constitution will be reached because the racist white minority government seeks to continue to deny it's citizens the right of one person, one vote.

The Minister of Justice said that even though the carrying out of executions is temporarily suspended, the courts will continue to impose death sentences and the government will continue the legal process of considering clemency petitions on behalf of prisoners who have exhausted all available avenues of appeal. The government did not announce the names of the 17 prisoners whose clemency petitions had been denied nor which of them were political prisoners. A further 257 prisoners remain under sentence of death in Pretoria.

At this time the United States and Japan are the only industrial bourgeois democracies who murder their citizens with judicial sanctions (i.e., impose the death penalty). The Bush administration continues trying to enlarge the federal death penalty to punish more crimes and at the same time limit death row prisoners' access to the federal courts for review of their death sentences.

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