What's your opinion? Would a country be more civilized if it abolished the death penalty?
In the 33 years since the death penalty was revived in the US, more than 130 death row inmates have been released after wrongful convictions. Public opinion is now evenly divided between the death penalty and the alternative of life without parole. Under pressure, the number of executions is slowly declining. Yet at least 16 deaths are scheduled in the next six months, and in California, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has chosen to borrow $64m to build a new death row, at the same time as cutting prison staff in the name of economy.
It is more than 60 years since the international declaration on human rights made abolition a benchmark of a civilised society. The campaign to end judicial killing everywhere would gain immeasurably from its final eradication in all of the world's most privileged nations.
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