Connie Vega

Recent Articles

Going It Alone

As you have read in the preceding pages, a large majority of countries in the world have abolished the death penalty. In order to join the European Union, for example, countries have to become parties to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and specifically to Protocol 6, which explicitly abolishes the death penalty. Thus, capital punishment has been eradicated in all of western Europe and most of eastern and central Europe. Most of the countries of the Americas have also abolished the death penalty. Indeed, it was repealed in South Africa after the end of apartheid, where it clearly had been one of the tools of repression used by whites against the black majority. (Countries still using the death penalty include China, Japan, and many Muslim nations.) The United States, therefore, finds itself at odds on this issue with its European counterparts, with its neighbors in the Americas, and with nearly all democracies -- a great many of the...