A few weeks ago I was looking up random things on Wikipedia when I stumbled upon this image showing all the countries in the world, coloured on the basis of whether the death penalty was still in place or not. Basically, the only countries where the death penalty is still actively used are the ones coloured in red. Now, the question is, what kind of similarities do we find between all of these?
First of all, most of these countries seem to be situated either in Africa or in the south of Asia. Also, they are generally countries with high amounts of unnatural deaths, rather unstable economies and societies in which religion still plays a very prominent role. Finally, particularly interesting is that every country the United States has been at war with in the past 60 years is coloured in red… as is the US itself. Speaking of educating nations…
Anyway, all in all, it can be more or less concluded that the countries in which the death penalty is still in place are all either developing or third world countries. As you will have noticed, there is one exception to this. This exception is of course Japan. Unlike all the other countries coloured in red, even though this particular issue might bring it into some debate, it is clearly a first world country. Japan simply does not fit the profile of the other countries where the death penalty is still in place, but we shall consider it to be the exception which proves the rule.
Still, it makes me wonder what stops these countries from using their common sense… Do they truly believe that such medieval punishments should be part of a civilised society? Particularly the US prides itself for being one of the leading countries in the world, yet still they prove their true status with laws such as this, in which they are joined by equally well renowned countries such as Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Listing the arguments against the death penalty probably won’t even be necessary: I wouldn’t be telling you anything new. What I do wonder, though… in all those countries where religion is still very important… religions which often state that killing is wrong and that God, rather than humanity, should be the supreme judge… how can it be that precisely those countries are the ones in which the death penalty is still allowed?
It is about time for this to change. Although this goes for all those countries coloured in red, Americans in particular feel like they live in a well developed country, but if the US truly is part of the “first world”, then it should start acting like it, and abolishing the death penalty would be a very good first step.
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