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        Global Voices Online - The world is talking. Are you listening?
        Friday, January 19, 2007
        From genocide to scraping dealth penalty - now that's civilized!
        Rwanda is preparing to "scrap death penalty". As expected, proponents of capital punishment are arguing that "…it serves as a strong deterrent" of crime therefore it should be kept in place.

        Well, take notes from the US, I would say. Since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977 the number of people executed has been on the increase and prison cells are still jam packed. So where is the justification for capital punishment as a “strong deterrent" against crime? Or is the United Executioners Union lobbying hard to expand their "business".

        Between 1977 and 1982, the years immediately following the reinstatement of the death penalty, there were a total of two executions. In 2004, there were 59 executions. An overwhelming number of these executions were carried out by lethal injection. On December 2, 2005, Kenneth Lee Boyd became the 1,000th person to be executed since 1977.

        How a "civilized" nation allows itself to regress to such barbarism in recent history is beyond me. I guess the answer lies with what the public wants and how committed it is to stop such things.

        Although the public still favors capital punishment, support has slipped and the number of executions and new death sentences is trending down.(source)


        "Although the public still favors capital punishment…" There's a clue there.

        The hypocrisy in trying to make capital punishment as humane as possible is equally sickening. Lethal injection is the most preferred method of… well killing. Still, what comes before it, the preping and so on should be as painful for the person going through the last minute generosity – fresh cloths, favourite food, visitors, spiritual advisors… the works.



        I am wondering if there is a reason for making a killing machine look like a Disney attraction. Unless it was quite arbitrary choice of color, there has to be some thought that went into decorating this thing.

        Let's divert and analyse the colour green (source)

        Green was a sacred color to the Egyptians representing the hope and joy of Spring.
        Green is a sacred color to Muslims.
        Japanese Emperor Hirohito's birthday is celebrated as "Green Day" because he loved to garden.


        Furthermore…

        It is said that green is the most restful color for the human eye.
        Some claim that green has great healing power. It can soothe pain.
        Suicides dropped 34% when London's Blackfriar Bridge was painted


        Just imagine the boss who ordered the paint job…. Was s/he thinking that green has a calming effect? On the other hand, green is the universally accepted color for exit signs. So there is perhaps a subtle symbolism there.

        I will stop here before I completely lose my point… which is capital punishment is not an effective crime deterrent and way to go Rwanda! It must take people a lot to be willing to move forward given their recent history of genocide.
        Another interesting fact about lethal injection is…

        The outcome of these cases may address several emerging issues concerning lethal injection, including how much pain it causes and what role medical professionals should play in ending the lives of prisoners.


        So what’s the law about euthanasia and abortion in the US again?

        Relevant links

        Amnesty International’s facts & figures on capital punishment

        European Union’s stance on Capital Punishment

        Anti-death penalty group’s blog
        posted by Fikirte @ 12:14 PM   Digg!
        2 Comments:
        • name<="c116933518605288560" id="c116933518605288560">

          At 6:19 PM, Anonymous aulelia said…

          this is a really good post. rwanda and her problems should always be discussed. i think one reason the government are doing that is to almost entice genocide plotters to collaborate with them. who knows?

           
        • name<="c116977768934716190" id="c116977768934716190">

          At 9:14 PM, Anonymous beninmwangi said…

          Rwanda is on her way to doing some very big things-in a good way. Your post brought that out in a most counter-intuitive way-by looking at how the country views life/death.

          Excellent work Fikirte!

           
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