The Death Penalty Around the Globe

Alejandra de la Fuente — October 14, 2009 @ 10:56 AM — Comments (0)

Firstly, welcome to Scott – a new blogger on the Plain Error blog. He posted his first two blogs below, and is definitely a valuable commentator on these issues. We look forward to reading more from him!

Looking through my RSS feed of news this morning, I came across a list of death penalty headlines from around the world. Intrigued, I decided to read each of the articles. It is interesting to see what the attitude toward the death penalty is in other cultures.

The first article on the list was from Melbourne, Australia where an anti-death penalty rally recently took place to celebrate World Day against the Death Penalty. The rally was focused on three Australians facing death in Bali, two for drug trafficking. The most interesting (and shocking) part of the article was the worldwide facts regarding executions. “According to Amnesty International, more than two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.” It’s surprising to hear that a majority of countries have abolished the death penalty, but unfortunately the remaining third contains 60% of the world’s population. 6,000 executions took place worldwide last year. India also had an anti-death penalty rally to celebrate this holiday.

With completely opposite intentions, a rally took place in the Bahamas yesterday supporting capital punishment and particularly the hanging of death row inmates. Hundreds of people flooded the street to support the continuation of this “primitive” form of execution.

China and Iran recently sentenced several people to the death row, but the European Union looks toward us. The EU is calling for abolition of the death penalty in the U.S.

Bruton and Swedish Ambassador Jonas Hafstrom issued the call for abolition on the eve of World Day Against the Death Penalty, established in 2002.

“The EU believes that the elimination of the death penalty is fundamental to the enhancement of human dignity and to the progressive development of human rights,” Hafstrom said on behalf of the 27-member political union.

While the perspective varies from culture to culture, a majority of the world has still abolished the death penalty. Perhaps it’s time the U.S. follow’s the rest of the world’s example and the EU’s suggestions, especially with all the recent problems.


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