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Death penalty initiative not quite dead

Just days after it was withdrawn, the initiative to reinstate the death penalty in Switzerland is making news again.

Marcel Graf, the initiative committee’s spokesman, has called on Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf to ensure that those accused of murder are tried and sentenced within a year.

In an interview with the Aarau-based Sonntag newspaper, Graf said that he would pass the initiative on to others if the justice minister was unable to promise speedier punishment.

Graf said that a huge lobby was interested in reviving the initiative and that he had received hundreds of emails. Many people mailed in petition forms full of signatures.

Widmer-Schlumpf is against the death penalty, but has said that she can understand the frustration of the committee members, who are related to a victim.

Switzerland struck capital punishment from its criminal statutes in 1942.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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