Saturday, September 29, 2007

The abolition of the death penalty is unfinished business

The death penalty may one day be a relic of the past.

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Terry Davis, the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, writes that, in the not-too-distant future, all countries will have abolished the death penalty. The Council of Europe and its member countries are leading the way by setting a high moral standard and by educating people around the world that the death penalty serves only a limited political purpose. Civilized people can live without this barbaric practice.

Mr. Davis points out that there is much work to be done even in countries that have abolished capital punishment. Prison conditions around the world must be improved. Consolidating all of Europe with a total ban on the death penalty would send a very powerful message to the rest of the world. Perhaps one that even the U.S. and China would heed.

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