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The Death Penalty


Today, the death penalty is one of the most debated issues in many nations in the world. The spread of globalization and democracy has prompted scholars to debate the effectiveness of the death penalty in deterring and stopping crime in the world. The opponents and proponents of the death penalty advance their arguments in equal measure. When proponents argue it is an effective deterrence of crime in many countries, opponents maintain that individuals do not deserve to die no matter how vicious or vile the crime they commit. Even though scholars continue to debate about the death penalty, it is apparent that the prevalence of the death penalty has dramatically decreased around the world.

In the last 50 years, many countries continue to stop the death penalty. By 1970, at least 21 counties in the world abolished death penalties and the number has risen to 103 countries today. Moreover, at least 36 countries in the world have not executed anybody though they have the death penalty, as one of the laws permitting the execution of individuals. The decline in the prevalence of death penalty was witnessed in Central and South America, Europe, and Africa. However, other parts of the world like America, the Middle East, Caribbean’s, and Asia remains strongholds of this penalty, and continues to execute individuals openly and secretly.

A strong support for capital punishment is noticeable in Asia where China leads in the total number of executions, but still, its prevalence is continuously diminishing. Out of the 29 jurisdictions in Asia, 13 jurisdictions support capital punishment while only four nation’s namely China, Japan, Singapore, and North Korea use this penalty with increased frequency. These countries are notorious for stashing data on their executions and many people believe more executions occur than imagined. In 2009, only 52 people were executed in America, but this is incomparable to executions by Asian nations. When Executions were at a high in the 1990s, China was estimated to have executed at least 15, 000 people between 1998 and 2001.

However, the numbers of executions have declined in the last few years. For instance, Singapore only executed 14 people between 2005 and 2008 while China executed at least 5,000 individuals in 2008. Moreover, many countries, such as Japan, India, Thailand, and Muslim dominated nations like Malaysia, Indonesia, and Bangladesh have temporary suspensions to their death penalties contributing to the decline. Therefore, a decline in executions in the world’s strongholds is a major contribution to the decline of the prevalence of the death penalty today.

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