... 1965, Gambia gained independence from Britain. Today this sliver of a West African republic (left), less than half the size of the state Maryland, has 1.7 million people. Its capital, Banjjul, was the site where the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights was adopted in 1981.
... 1972, in People v. Anderson, California's Supreme Court held 6-1 that the state's death penalty violated the ban on "cruel or unusual punishment" contained in California's Constitution, and commuted the sentences of all death row inmates to life imprisonment. Later in the same year the state's voters approved a constitutional amendment reinstating capital punishment. Since this time the state has executed 13 persons; another 667 are on death row (right). (photo credit)