Wednesday, October 10, 2007

10/10: We're winning

The global struggle against the death penalty has been long and hard - but it's one we're winning. Since the last world day against the death penalty, two countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes: Albania and Rwanda. In addition, Kyrgyzstan abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes, and significant restrictions were introduced in Kazakhstan. Furthermore, legislation to abolish the death penalty is now under consideration in Burundi and South Korea, while Malawi's High Court has declared mandatory execution unconstitutional. While that doesn't sound like much, the results have been dramatic in the long-term: since 1977, the number of countries which have abolished the death penalty for all crimes has risen from 16 to 90, while the number which are abolitionist in law or in practice has gone from 40 to 130. Country by country, state by state, we are ending the practice of judicial murder.