October 5, 2010 2 Comments
The world continued to move toward abolition in 2009. The number of countries that have removed capital punishment entirely from their laws rose to 95 as Burundi and Togo abolished the death penalty for all crimes. While 58 countries retained the death penalty, most did not use it. Eighteen countries were known to have carried out executions, killing a total of 714 people. The United States came fourth in rank, after China, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia, with 52 executions.
However, this figure does not include the thousands of executions that were likely to have taken place in China, which again refused to divulge figures on its use of the death penalty. In fact, since the outcries of the international community has become more fervent, certain countries still mantain the executions secret. This mostly happens were the press is muted.
Many humanitarian associations fight daily to abolish a nation’s right to decide the life, and the death, of their citizens. Among the most important are Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain. To help make change is easy, sometimes it’s enough to spread the word to open the eyes of those whom do not want to see.
Many more links: 1000+ Death Penalty Links.
Some reading suggestions:
- The Green Mile, a novel by Stephen King
- Dead Man Walking, a novel by Sister Helen Prejean
- Condemned: Inside the Sing Sing Death House, by Scott Christianson, Director of New York Death Penalty Documentation Project
- Against the Death Penalty: Christian and Secular Arguments Against Capital Punishment , by Gardner C. Hanks
- Cell 2455, Death Row, by Caril Chessman inmate; an insider view.