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Death Penalty: 2,390 executions in 2008 worldwide, 72 per cent in China
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1.       tamikidakika
1346 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:01 pm

Death Penalty: 2,390 executions in 2008 worldwide, 72 per cent in China

24 March 2009

Amnesty International today revealed that more people were executed in Asia than in any other part of the world in 2008 because China carried out more executions than the rest of the world put together. By contrast, in Europe only one country continues to use the death penalty: Belarus.
"The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. Beheadings, electrocutions, hangings, lethal injections, shootings and stonings have no place in the 21st century," said Irene Khan, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

The report Death Sentences and Executions in 2008, which provides a world overview on the death penalty, found that between January and December 2008 at least 2,390 people were executed in 25 countries around the world with at least 8,864 sentenced to death in 52 states.
Amnesty International also reports on countries that handed down death sentences after unfair trials, like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen. The report addresses the discriminatory manner with which the death penalty was often applied in 2008, with a disproportionate number of sentences handed down to the poor, minorities and members of racial, ethnic and religious communities, in countries such as Iran, Sudan, Saudi Arabia and USA. And the risk of executing the innocent continues, as highlighted by the four inmates released from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence.

Many death row inmates languish in harsh detention conditions and face psychological hardship. For example, in Japan inmates are typically notified of their hanging only on the morning of their execution and their families are informed only after the execution has taken place.

“Capital punishment is not just an act but a legalized process of physical and psychological terror that culminates in people being killed by the state. It must be brought to an end,” said Irene Khan.

Most of the world is moving a step closer to the abolition of the death penalty, with only 25 out of the 59 countries that retain the death penalty reported to have actually executed in 2008. But Amnesty International warned that, in spite of this trend, death sentences continue to be handed out in their hundreds all over the world.

Progress was undermined, however, in 2008 by countries like St Kitts and Nevis which carried out the first execution in the Americas outside the USA since 2003 and Liberia where the death penalty was introduced for the crimes of robbery, terrorism and hijacking.

“The good news is that executions are only carried out by a small number of countries, which shows that we are moving closer to a death-penalty free world,” said Irene Khan. “By contrast, the bad news is that hundreds of people continue to be sentenced to death and suffer in the many countries that have not yet formally abolished the death penalty.”



Regional summaries:

  • Most of the executions in 2008 were carried out in Asia where 11 countries continue to practise the death penalty: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Indonesia, Japan, North Korea, Malaysia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Singapore, and Viet Nam. China alone accounted for almost three quarters of the world´s executions, carrying out at least 1,718 executions - although the figure is believed to be much higher as statistics on death sentences and executions remain state secrets.
  • The Middle East and North Africa was the region with the second highest number of executions (508). In Iran, stoning and hanging were among the cruel and inhumane methods used with at least 346 people put to death, including eight juvenile offenders. In Saudi Arabia, where execution is usually by public beheading and is, in some cases, followed by crucifixion, at least 102 people were executed.
  • In the Americas, only the United States of America consistently executes, with 37 executions carried out in 2008 including more in Texas than in any other state. The release of four men from death row in the USA on grounds of innocence brings to more than 120 the number of such cases released since 1975. The only other country in the Americas to execute in 2008 was St Kitts and Nevis, the first Caribbean state to carry out an execution since 2003.
  • Europe would be a ‘death penalty free zone’ if it were not for Belarus where the death penalty is shrouded in secrecy: execution by a gunshot to the back of the head and no official information given relatives about the date of the execution or where the body is buried. The former Soviet country carried out four executions in 2008 and remains the only country in Europe to retain the death penalty.
  • Only two officially recorded executions were carried out in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2008 but at least 362 people were sentenced to death. 2008 also saw a regressive development in Liberia where the death penalty was reintroduced for the crimes of robbery, terrorism and hijacking.

State death sentences
China 1718
Iran 346
Saudi Arabia 102
USA 37
Pakistan 36
Iraq 34

2.       Trudy
7887 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:08 pm

To the death penalty is only one reply (in my view): Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

3.       TheAenigma
5001 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:21 pm

 

Quoting Trudy

To the death penalty is only one reply (in my view): Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

 

 I guess the answer is that they DONT do it to show that it is wrong - they do it as punishment. 

(This is not defence of capital punishment - I am strongly against it! )

4.       Trudy
7887 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:26 pm

 

Quoting TheAenigma

 

 

 I guess the answer is that they DONT do it to show that it is wrong - they do it as punishment. 

(This is not defence of capital punishment - I am strongly against it! )

 

 And why does one punish? To show the thing the person did was not ok, isn´t it?

5.       TheAenigma
5001 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:27 pm

 

Quoting Trudy

 

 

 And why does one punish? To show the thing the person did was not ok, isn´t it?

 

 Not necessarily - revenge doesn´t always mean you want to teach someone something

6.       TheAenigma
5001 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:29 pm

 

Quoting tamikidakika

Death Penalty: 2,390 executions in 2008 worldwide, 72 per cent in China

24 March 2009

Amnesty International today revealed that more people were executed in Asia than in any other part of the world in 2008 because China carried out more executions than the rest of the world put together. By contrast, in Europe only one country continues to use the death penalty:

 

This is actually pretty shocking!

Not so much the statistics, but the fact that Tami posted something that appears to be pro-European lol



Edited (3/24/2009) by TheAenigma

7.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 07:45 pm

It´s hard to say what I feel about the death penalty.  I am not sure of the types of crimes that happen in Europe but it seems like crime in the US has gotten completely out of hand.  I know that statistically the death penalty doesn´t lower crime, but I can see why people here in the US are so in favor of it.   

 

Personally, the thought of putting someone to death is very upsetting to me but it is still a subject I feel somewhat conflicted about.  Violent crime is something that has touched my life personally so I understand a little of the motivation to "see justice done".  I had to dig very deep in order to get past it.  However, it is very easy to see how some people can´t.



Edited (3/24/2009) by Elisabeth

8.       Daydreamer
3743 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 08:29 pm

I am actually in favour of capital punishment. Why do I need to pay for somebody´s time in jail if they´ve violated social rules on purpose? It´s not like innocent people are being put to death, there´s a clear message -> if you do a, you will lose your life. Hence, people deciding to go with "a" deliberately make a choice.

 

I´ve heard that in China, the top executives responsible for melanine in baby formula (remember that horrible incident a few months ago?) were shot to death. Violent? Inhumane? And how humane is what they did?

 

I´d go with the opinion that some people cannot be resocialised, in their case, capital punishment is an only option.

9.       Trudy
7887 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 08:34 pm

 

Quoting Daydreamer

I am actually in favour of capital punishment. Why do I need to pay for somebody´s time in jail if they´ve violated social rules on purpose? It´s not like innocent people are being put to death, there´s a clear message -> if you do a, you will lose your life. Hence, people deciding to go with "a" deliberately make a choice.

 

I´ve heard that in China, the top executives responsible for melanine in baby formula (remember that horrible incident a few months ago?) were shot to death. Violent? Inhumane? And how humane is what they did?

 

I´d go with the opinion that some people cannot be resocialised, in their case, capital punishment is an only option.

 

The problem is that so many mistakes are made. Only in the last 4 years there were about 6 ´murderers´ found innocent after all - wrong evidence, wrong DNA etc - in my country alone. All these ´perpetrators´ were sentenced to 12 years or more. Some of them already had 8 years in prison before the mistakes were found. I must not think that death sentence was already done. ´Sorry madam, we executed your son/husband by mistake.´

 

10.       Elisabeth
5732 posts
 24 Mar 2009 Tue 08:38 pm

I agree that some innocent people are put to death, which is why I am probably more against capital punishment than for it.  However, the level of violent crime and the nature of violent crime in my country has gotten so utterly disturbing that I can´t help but agree with Daydreamer....why should we keep these people alive? 

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