Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Better late than never

What do the following countries all have in common. China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the USA and Yemen?

If you guessed "countries that recently imposed the death penalty on children", then you would be correct.

Amnesty International has recorded 39 cases worldwide of the application of the death penalty for crimes commited by children.

1990 - 2 - Iran (1), USA (1)
1991 - 0 - 0
1992 - 6 - Iran (3), Pakistan (1), Saudi Arabia (1), USA (1)
1993 - 5 - USA (4), Yemen (1)
1994 - 0 - --
1995 - 0 - --
1996 - 0 - --
1997 - 2 - Nigeria (1), Pakistan (1)
1998 - 3 - USA (3)
1999 - 2 - Iran (1), USA (1)
2000 - 6 - Congo (Democratic Republic) (1), Iran (1), USA (4)
2001 - 3 - Iran (1), Pakistan (1), USA (1)
2002 - 3 - USA (3)
2003 - 2 - China (1), USA (1)
2004 - 4 - China (1), Iran (3)
2005 - 1 - Iran (1)

Thankfully, things are changing.

The United States bowed to international and domestic pressure Tuesday, becoming the last country in the world officially to abolish the death penalty for offenders who were under 18 when they committed murder.

...

The decision brings the US into line with the rest of the world. The execution of juveniles is explicitly banned in the UN convention on the rights of the child, which has been ratified by every country except the US and Somalia, which has no recognised government.

Better late than never.

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