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The World Supports the Death Penalty

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Kent notes that public opinion in England and Canada supports the death penalty, even while it is no longer permitted in those countries.  This fact undermines one of the principal arguments of the abolitionist movement, namely, that among civilized people, the "death penalty is dying."

 

What Kent's entry shows is that, even among those nations presently without capital punishment, this is less a marker of public belief than of the power of the governing elite.  But there's a good deal more to it than that.

 

The argument that "the death penalty is dying"  is typically put forward by noting that such countries as France, Spain and Germany no longer allow it, while such unpleasant places as Iran, North Korea and Yemen do.  What this argument neglects to mention is that, according to Amnesty International, no less, http://www.amnesty.org/en/death-penalty/abolitionist-and-retentionist-countries, the death penalty exists in both law and in practice in countries with well over half the world's population. This includes what are by far the world's four largest countries (China, India, the United States and Indonesia). It also exists in both law and practice in such disparate countries as Japan, Nigeria, Jamaica and Taiwan.


Abolitionists often say  --  to use the term they employ to disparage the United States  --  that these retentionist countries are "narrow minded."  Let me submit, to the contrary, that the narrow mindedness exists in the gaggle of faux high-minded continental European countries, still with their noses in the air, who look down on the culture and practices of other racial groups like those found in the Middle East, Africa and the Orient.  Indeed, in other contexts, those prone to abolitionism would be lauding the death penalty for its "diversity."  But, oddly, the swooning for "diversity" turns out to be a sometime thing.

1 Comment

Good points.

In addition, if you poll on specific crimes, those that are say death penalty eligible in the US, death penalty support gets even higher, up to about 80% in the US.

Using the Saddam Hussein example, a majority of those in Western Europe supported his execution.

"Death Penalty Polls: Support Remains Very High - 80%"
http://prodpinnc.blogspot.com/2009/07/death-penalty-polls-support-remains.html

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