Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Death Penalty in Mongolia

Catholic News reports on the complete moratorium of capital punishment in Mongolia.

Tsakhia Elbegdorj says it degrades Mongolia's dignity. He plans to commute the sentence of people on death row.

Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Mongolian President Tsakhia Elbegdorj has announced a moratorium on the death penalty, and has called for its abolition.

Mr Elbegdorj told parliament that such punishment degraded Mongolia's dignity and that he would commute the sentence of death row inmates.

In the land of Genghis Khan who imposed discipline by putting people to death, the president wants a moratorium on executions because the “majority of the world's countries have chosen to abolish the death penalty. We should follow this path," he told lawmakers.

The president said he would start at once. “From tomorrow, I'll pardon those on death row. I suggest commuting the death penalty to a 30-year severe jail sentence.”

It's often said that the United States has a history of violence, you know, the revolutionary war period and the cowboy-gun-slinger period a century later. But Mongolia really has it, going back nearly a millennium. In the land of Genghis Khan, you might think violence is in their genes. Yet, even they're taking the cue from other "enlightened" societies on the issue of executing their own.

China holds the unenviable title as the world’s top executioner in 2008 with 1,718 people put to death. That is more than half of the 2,390 executions carried out in the world that year.

Altogether 93 per cent of all executions occur in five countries. In addition to China, the list includes Iran (346), Saudi Arabia (102), the United States (37) and Pakistan (36).

Everyone knows the arguments for and against the death penalty. But, how about adding the one about the company we keep by continuing this barbaric practice so fraught with problems and complications.

What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

1 comment:

  1. Whether or not the death penalty should be abolished is a serious debate and as MikeB says "everyone knows the arguments for and against the death penalty."

    However, the everyone else is doing it so we should to is not, or should not be, one of those arguments either way.

    The United States is a sovereign nation and we make our own rules. Many other nations exist solely at the whim of the United States.

    If we decide to abolish or continue the death penalty, that is our business and not the business of any other country. The United States is an example for others to follow.