Monday, August 6, 2007

European Union and the Death Penalty

Article 2 (2) of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union stipulates, "No one shall be condemned to the death penalty, or executed." Subsection (1) furthermore states, "Everyone has the right to life."
Accordingly, the member states do not impose the death penalty. Russia, planning to integrate into the EU, has also abolished the death penalty. Despite this, the U.S. is not even planning to make steps in that direction. The two outdated theoretical justifications: retribution and deterrence, are not even brought up any more because they do not work in practice. The crime rate in the U.S. is not any lower than that of any EU country. But most people in America still want the death penalty... Interestingly, the conservatives are the strongest supporters despite their also very strong support for the right to life. They fight for the unborn fetus giving it a priority over the woman's choice for abortion, while ardently supporting death for the criminals.
Of course, the unborn child is not a criminal. But there is something strange about it. "Eye for an eye" concepts remind of the Middle Ages. Do we want to return to those times as a nation? That is the question.

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