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Death Penalty: Is China worst executor due to the morality? Samo Valuch ENG 290 Miles White Explanatory paper November 20th, 2011 The death penalty or in other words capital punishment is a form of execution used for a long time. It is a form of punishment that was and still is used by several countries for various types of crimes for hundreds of years.
However the death penalty has become a very debatable and confronting issue for last decades due to the fact of people having different opinions on this issue.
In some countries it is considered to be a part of the judicial system, while in other countries it is considered to be an act violating human rights. During the first decade of 21st century, about two thirds of world vide countries have abolished the capital punishment due to the fact it is a violation of moral codex and human rights.
There are always pros and cons to every action humans are able to do, so it is with the issue of death penalty. Countries such as China, USA, Japan or India have still retained to the execution of criminals by death penalty.
However there are many intergovernmental and human rights organization such as the European Union that understands the death penalty to be one of the most pressing human rights issues of all time.
(Babcock S. , 2007) People are questioning the courts if death penalty really deters the crime, or if it is just a need to satisfy society’s desire for revenge. We can find many arguments against it; however the answer to question of abolishing the death penalty by the entire world is unclear and in far future. China is the country known for using many forms of inhuman punishment methods.
There can be find an evidence showing the China to be the country with the highest execution case rate. I could not believe these statements, so I decide to search this issue and find out if China is really using the capital punishment, and if so, what methods they use. As I started to research this issue, I found and article in The Atlantic, written by Max Fisher. He tries to raise and show the importance of the death penalty issue. Within his article he refers to a research institution called Amnesty International. According to their research, the evidence show that in year 2010, the death penalty was used in 23 countries. The Atlantic, 2011) United States ranked in top five with the number of 46 executed prisoners, Iran placed second with number of 252 executed prisoners, and China ranked first, executing thousands of prisoners. ( The Atlantic, 2011) However there is no exact evidence to the Chinese execution numbers. The Chinese government keeps it in secret. Even when I searched the Amnesty International report of death penalty, their report show similar numbers that I found in Max Fishers article, however the numbers about the Chinese executions are not shown due to the fact of being hidden by Chinese government.
According to report, “the worst offending countries are Iran with at least 388 executions, Iraq with at least 120, Saudi Arabia with at least 69 and the USA with about 52 executions. ” (Amnesty International, 2009) These numbers are still quite high due to the fact that a general trend toward abolition of the death penalty has increased and more countries have abolished death penalty. I was little curious, if I can find any more about the numbers of Chinese execution cases.
I found an article in BBC news, written by Chris Hogg, saying that according to Dui Hau Foundation, which is a human right based organization, there is about 5000 prisoners killed annually. (BBCnews, 2011) This estimate actually shows the power of the Chinese regime and the strict rules that governs over the people living there. However on the other side, it shows that China has troubled court system and also a national policy that permits death penalty for criminalities that are not measured to be capital in majority of other countries. The Atlantic, 2011) When comparing the numbers from the research done by Amnesty international, China execute more people in 4 days that USA in a whole year. That is disgusting and in breach of human rights. Digging deeply into this interesting issues, after finding out that China is the biggest death penalty user, I wanted to find out how do they execute death penalty. What types of death penalty do they use? The most common way of death penalty execution in the past was to shoot the bullet in head of all accused.
However the last survey has shown the shift from this bullet in head method and change to more brutal methods such as death vans, death bed, hanging, decapitation or less brutal lethal injection. As I searched the internet, looking for the way of executing death penalty in China, I found article written by Hamish Mcdonald. He explains that the most common public executions are held on football stadiums, where accused person is shot in the head. They are made to kneel with head bowed and hand cuffed. (Mcdonald H. 2003) Furthermore I researched that there is another commonly used method called death vans. It is a form of execution, where a normal bus was converted into windowless buss with the metal bed at the end. The prisoner is than strapped down to this bed waiting for an officer to press the button and drop lethal drug into his vein. (Mcleod C. , 2006) According to the article written by Calum Mcleod, “makers of the death vans say the vehicles and injections are a civilized alternative to the firing squad, ending the life of the condemned more quickly, clinically and safely.
The switch from gunshots to injections is a sign that China “promotes human rights now,” says Kang Zhongwen”. (Mcleod C. , 2006) Because I was more than sure that there are more brutal methods still in use, I kept searching till I found an article written by unknown person from the year 2008 talking about remaining death penalty methods that are still in use. The article describes fusillading, stoned to death method, hanging, electric chair, decapitation and lethal injection. In case of China, out of these mentioned methods, three are still in use. It is hanging, decapitation and lethal injection. Unknown, 2008) According to Liu Renwen, death penalty researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, the use of lethal injection has grown in recent years and might reach the 40% level due to the fact it is probably the most civil method compared to other alternatives. (Mcleod C. , 2006). Decapitation was more likely used in ancient times and it’s not commonly seen in use nowadays. Hanging is still a part of the present; however with the trend of abolishing the brutal ways of executions, also hanging executions has decreased and were replaced with more civil methods.
The conclusion of my research for different types of providing capital punishment in China has end up with only two facts. The first one is that China is becoming little more civil in case of death penalties and that the most commonly used methods are lethal injections and death vans. However one more idea comes up to my mind with this controversial issue. The question is if the death penalty is even moral? It did not take me long to find something to support my question regarding morality of death penalty. I found an article, written by Roger Hood, the editor to English online encyclopedia.
In his article, the passage about moral arguments says that there is obviously more than one point of view on death penalty. Those who are supporting the death penalty believe that someone who did commit a murder lost their own right to live. Additionally supporters believe the fact that death penalty is a payback expressing moral indignation to all people respecting the law. (Hood R. , n. d. ) However the opponents of death penalty claim that legitimizing the death penalty is indeed counterproductive in the moral message it carries.
They are against the death penalty usage for lesser crimes, because it is immoral and unequal to the harm done. (Hood R. , n. d. ) To conclude this controversial issue and my research on it, I would say that it is very hard to judge if death penalty is right, wrong, moral or immoral, while the scale binding penalties differs from state to state. I would be more for using it, but just in cases of the worst crimes such as murder or bomb attack, where these people deserve not to live anymore while being dangerous to the rest of us. However there are still many speculations about what is the right way of execution by death penalty.
Supporters want to custom the law somehow to make sure that those, who really deserve the death, are properly executed. Opponents on the other side point out that the history shows singling out some kinds of crime as worthy of death will certainly be arbitrary and unfair. The research and fact I found convinced me, that China is probably still one of the most brutal and corrupted country in the world. This debate should go on forever, however its deciphering is in sight. References 1. BBC News – China executions shrouded in secrecy. (n. d. ). BBC News – Home. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from http://news. bc. co. uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/8432514. stm 2. Fisher – International – The Atlantic. (n. d. ). The Atlantic — News and analysis on politics, business, culture, technology, national, international, and life a? TheAtlantic. com. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from http://www. theatlantic. com/international/archive/2011/09/capital-punishment-in-china/245520/ 3. AIUK : Death Penalty. (n. d. ). Amnesty International – working to protect human rights worldwide. Retrieved November 23, 2011, from http://www. amnesty. org. uk/content. asp? CategoryID=78 4. Capital