Two More Countries End Use of the Death Penalty

By: Devin O’Leary

In December, Mexico joined a list of more than 90 countries around the world that have outlawed capital punishment. No one had been executed in Mexico since the early 1960s, but the death penalty was still technically legal until the end of last year. “Mexico shares the opinion that capital punishment is a violation of human rights,” said Mexican president, Vicente Fox, as he signed the new legislation into law.

Also in December, Kyrgyzstan’s new president, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, signed a decree that placed a moratorium on the death penalty until plans for abolition take effect. Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet country, placed a moratorium on capital punishment in 1998 and has repeatedly extended the moratorium since then. Bakiyev said that the decree was a way to “humanize and liberalize” the country’s criminal code, and he urged parliament to formally put an end to the death penalty.

It is clear that the United States lags behind other countries when it comes to abolishing the death penalty. What is shocking is the fact that the United States is one of four countries in the world that use the death penalty. In its use of the death penalty, the U.S. keeps the company of China, Iran, and Vietnam. In addition to the more than ninety countries that have abolished the death penalty, another twenty-eight countries haven’t executed anyone in more than ten years.

It’s time for America to wake up and place a higher importance on human rights. Mexico and Kyrgyzstan have taken the correct step in stopping the inhumane process of killing its own citizens. Now, it’s time for America to adopt the same principle and put an end to the death penalty.