The Next Frontier: National Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia
Oxford University Press, Feb 2, 2009 - Social Science - 544 pages
Today, two-thirds of the world's nations have abolished the death penalty, either officially or in practice, due mainly to the campaign to end state executions led by Western European nations. Will this success spread to Asia, where over 95 percent of executions now occur? Do Asian values and traditions support capital punishment, or will development and democratization end executions in the world's most rapidly developing region? David T. Johnson, an expert on law and society in Asia, and Franklin E. Zimring, a senior authority on capital punishment, combine detailed case studies of the death penalty in Asian nations with cross-national comparisons to identify the critical factors for the future of Asian death penalty policy. The clear trend is away from reliance on state execution and many nations with death penalties in their criminal codes rarely use it. Only the hard-line authoritarian regimes of China, Vietnam, Singapore, and North Korea execute with any frequency, and when authoritarian states experience democratic reforms, the rate of executions drops sharply, as in Taiwan and South Korea. Debunking the myth of "Asian values," Johnson and Zimring demonstrate that politics, rather than culture or tradition, is the major obstacle to the end of executions. Carefully researched and full of valuable lessons, The Next Frontier is the authoritative resource on the death penalty in Asia for scholars, policymakers, and advocates around the world.
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