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March 14, 2007

Iraq talking about death penalty abolition

According to this Reuters article, Iraq's human rights minister is talking about Iraq abolishing the death penalty.  Here's the basics:

The government of Iraq, which was heavily criticised internationally for the way it executed Saddam Hussein, wants to abolish the death penalty, its human rights minister said on Wednesday.

The first step would be to limit capital punishment, which was re-introduced over two years ago to combat spiralling criminal violence, to the most extreme cases such as genocide and crimes against humanity, Wijdan Michael told the United Nations Human Rights Council. "We are working at the present moment in order to pave the way to eliminate capital punishment in Iraq, after restricting it to the largest possible extent," Michael said, speaking through an interpreter.

Images of the country's former dictator being taunted as he awaited execution in December, and the accidental decapitation of his half-brother and aide Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti during a January hanging, caused an outcry.

In this post a few months ago, I wondered whether and how execution problems might impact modern debate over the death penalty.  Interestingly, ugly execution stories may be having more of an impact on death debates in Iraq than in Texas.

March 14, 2007 at 05:42 PM | Permalink

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