Tuesday, October 04, 2005

A global look at the death penalty: Should the US change its policy?

The US has always maintained its right to sentence criminals to death. It feels that there are some criminals too dangerous even to sit in prison for the rest of their lives, or something like that. Over the last decade or so however the global community has been pushing for more reform on the matter.

The world had been eyeing the death penalty for years but the chain of reactions was set off by the EU officially adopting an anti-death penalty stance and even requiring countries wishing to join the EU, such as Turkey to adopt the measure. Many of these countries are strongly allied with the United States and the disagreement over the death penalty strains these ties.

The European countries are not the only ones to reconsider their policy of sentencing criminals to death. In recent years more and more countries have taken steps to reform their judicial policy on the matter. In China they have reinstated the reviewal of death penalty cases by higher courts to prevent wrongful confictions. Earlier this year prisoners in Jordan went on hunger strike to protest the death penalty.

Some countries still do resort to the death penalty as a means of dealing with criminals. Pakistan recently sentenced to death 5 people for their supposed involvement in the assassination attempt of Gen Musharraf. Another well known case is that of Iraq which recently approved the used of the death penalty. Even this approval however comes with strict conditions for terrorists only and I believe is largely due to the US influence in the political system.

As we witness much of the developed world and certainly the western world move away from the use of the death penalty the question is raised: should the US re-examine its policy toward the death penalty?


Blogger Mickell said...

Death penalty cannot and shouldn't be totally eradicated. Especially when dealing with downright depraved serial killers. Ted Bundy and Ed Gein are murderers who didn't deserve to live at all for all their atrocious crimes against humanity. To let them live in the prison for the rest of their lives is a big waste to taxpayers' money.

Tue Oct 04, 10:24:00 PM  

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