Friday, October 10, 2008

10/10: Progress

Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty, the day we highlight the global struggle against capital punishment. So, how is that struggle going? Slowly, but it is making progress. Since the last world day against the death penalty, three countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes: the Cook Islands, Uzbekistan and Argentina. In addition, Russia, Latvia and Chile are working towards final abolition. Finally, and most significantly, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution calling for a global moratorium, and a second moratorium resolution is before the General Assembly this session.

On the bad news front, Liberia backslid, reintroducing the death penalty for armed robbery, terrorism and hijacking, despite having signed the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. No-one has been executed yet, and the President is likely to commute any capital sentence, but its not a good sign. But while its a setback, it is outweighed by progress elsewhere in the world; overall, we're still winning.