America, Abolish the Death Penalty

It is often said that you get a good idea as to the character of somebody by the company that they keep. So then, when it comes to the death penalty, the US is rubbing shoulders with reverse human rights champions such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, to name but three. The US is unique in that it is the only Western country to still use the death penalty.

The fact that the US is often portrayed as a bastion of freedom, personal liberty and pushing back against the government over-reach, yet still retains the death penalty in a majority of states, is a telling irony. As too is the fact that the US is home to the Unite Nations HQ – an organization that has again recently reiterated that the death penalty should play no part in the 21st century world. [1]

30 US states presently have the death penalty in place, with 20, plus D.C., without and is also used by the federal government and the military.

Let us be clear here. The death penalty is archaic, barbaric and fundamentally undermines the human rights credential of any country that still uses it, and that most definitely includes the US.

The Eighth Amendment of the Constitution clearly proscribes the use of “cruel and unusual’ punishments. Being deprived of your right to be alive has to be the very definition of cruelty. It matters not if the needle, noose or gunshots are swift, the psychological torment prior to that is inhumane and cruel. Death row inmates in the US have to wait, on average, a decade before being put to death. In some cases, the wait can be twice that long. [2]

While that is bad enough, there’s more to come. To state the obvious, once applied, the death penal