Monday, March 2, 2009

Capital Punishment Around the World

While we're on the topic of law and order and international norms, here's a map from the Criminal Justice blog at change.org on capital punishment policies around the world.



According to the blog entry by Matt Kelley, the top five countries for executions in 2007 were China (470 executions), Iran (317), Saudi Arabia (143), Pakistan (135), and the United States (42). (Kelley notes that China likely underreported executions.)

There are some clear geographical patterns here. Basically, capital punishment has been completely delegitimized in Europe, and to a slightly lesser extent in Latin America. It is still fairly healthy, if that is the word for it, in most of the Muslim world and East Asia, however.

And then there is the United States. This is one of those issues where the US really stands out as culturally and socially distinct from other Western countries. No other European country (save for the dictatorial regime in Belarus), nor any other Anglophone country, practices capital punishment. In this case, the US has more in common with the traditionalist societies of the Middle East and Asia, which tend to have a more authoritarian character at the societal level.

55 comments:

Seth said...

"...nor any other Anglophone country, practices capital punishment."

Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Lesotho, according to the map, practice capital punishment and all have English as one of their official languages.

Chachy said...

And several other African and south Asian countries, as well, including India and Pakistan. But I had in mind the countries where English is the primary language: the UK, Ireland, Canada, the US, Australia, and New Zealand, and maybe South Africa. Your use of the term is probably more precise though. (Is there a better term for the countries where English is the primary and most common language?)

Benjamin said...

Anglosphere is used as well, and is probably a better term. I think -phone implies language and -sphere implies shared cultural heritage.

Chachy said...

Yeah, though it seems that 'anglosphere' connotes the whole domain of english-speaking peoples, including communities in overwhelmingly non-english-speaking countries.

Maybe I shall have to invent a word. Anglolingual? Angloquacious?

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