Death Penalties – For or Against?

April 1st, 2011 by admin

Death Penalties – For or Against?

For many decades, the death penalty has been a topic of controversy; not only in the United States, but also in other countries around the world. In past centuries, almost every country had a strict death penalty. In some countries, people had to do very little to earn a death sentence. Some individuals were wrongly put to death simply on grounds of suspicion. When this was discovered, many countries began evaluating their death penalty policies. Amendments were made, rules were changed and many of the countries have abolished the penalty now.

Some of the first countries to ban the death penalty were ones that most people would least expect. Venezuela was the first to abolish it in 1863. Two years later, San Marino also abolished it. Costa Rica followed in 1877, Panama in 1903 and Ecuador in 1906. Canada, Mexico and most of South America no longer use the death penalty, with the exception of Guyana, which still does. Guatemala and the United States still use capital punishment.

The northeastern countries in Africa still force the death penalty, but most of the western countries have abolished it, with the exceptions of Sierra Leone and Guinea, which use shooting and hanging as methods of capital punishment. Western Sahara has abolished the death penalty, but still allows it for some special cases. All of the countries on the south tip of Africa have abolished capital punishment, but the middle countries have not. Although they haven’t abolished it, they have not carried out any executions in over 10 years.

Europe has abolished the death penalty in almost every country. The Baltic state of Latvia still allows capital punishment for some special cases. Belarus allows the penalty and has laws enacted that support it. Russia still uses the death penalty, but hasn’t executed anyone in over 10 years. Currently there is much controversy about capital punishment there. Legislation is being proposed to reinstate it, but the Constitutional Court has refused to approve it.

Countries in Asia and the Middle East still use the death penalty. Most Middle Eastern countries have stricter laws than any other area in the world for reasons to execute people. The Philippines, Cambodia and Australia have all abolished the death penalty and do not use any form of capital punishment. New Zealand also does not use the death penalty. Myanmar and Laos have death penalty provisions, which have not been used in over 10 years.

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