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NCJ Number: 66208 Find in a Library
Title: GENERAL OVERVIEW OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AS A LEGAL SANCTION
Journal: AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES  Volume:12  Issue:1  Dated:(SEPTEMBER 1979)  Pages:2-10
Author(s): M LOPEZ-REY
Corporate Author: Australian Acad of Forensic Sciences
Butterworths Pty Ltd
Australia
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Acad of Forensic Sciences
Chatswood, 2067, Australia
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: RESULTS OF A STUDY AIMED AT ASCERTAINING THE EXTENT AND PRACTICE OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT ON A WORLDWIDE BASIS ARE REPORTED.
Abstract: THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN GATHERED BECAUSE THE UNITED NATIONS (U.N.) HAS REAFFIRMED THE DESIRABILITY OF ABOLISHING CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND THE TOPIC HAS BEEN SCHEDULED FOR THE 1980 U.N. CONGRESS ON THE PREVENTION OF CRIME AND THE TREATMENT OF OFFENDERS. TRADITIONALLY, COUNTRIES HAVE BEEN CLASSIIED AS RETENTIONIST, SEMI-RETENTIONIST, ABOLITIONIST, AND SEMI-ABOLITIONIST, BUT NATIONAL CONDITIONS AND PRACTICES OVERLAP THESE CONCEPTS. FOR EXAMPLE, SOME ABOLITIONIST COUNTRIES USE NON-JUDICIAL FORMS OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT; OTHERS APPLY IT TO MILITARY OFFENSES; IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES, NATIONAL EMERGENCY SITUATIONS DECREED BY MILITARY GOVERNMENTS IMPOSE EXTRAORDINARY WARTIME CONDITIONS AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. IN AFRICA, ALL COUNTRIES MAINTAIN CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AND SOME MAKE FREQUENT USE OF IT, OCCASIONALLY IN THE FORM OF PUBLIC EXECUTIONS ATTENDED BY HIGH OFFICIALS. THE VAST MAJORITY OF LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN COUNTRIES ARE RETENTIONIST TO DIFFERENT DEGREES. IN THE ASIAN COUNTRIES, CAPITAL PUNISHMENT IS STATUTORY FOR A NUMBER OF OFFENSES, ALTHOUGH OFTEN AS AN ALTERNATIVE PENALTY. SOCIALIST COUNTRIES OFFICIALLY DECLARE CAPITAL PUNISHMENT AS A TEMPORARY EXTRAORDINARY MEASURE WHICH WILL DISAPPEAR WHEN COMMUNISM BECOMES FULLY EFFECTIVE. THE UNION OF SOVIET SOCIALIST REPUBLICS PENAL CODE CONTAINS 24 CAPITAL OFFENSES AND SERVES AS A MODEL FOR MOST OTHER COMMUNIST STATES. NEWLY REVISED PENAL CODES IN CHINA PROVIDE FOR CAPITAL PUNISHMENT WITH A 2-YEAR REPRIEVE IN SOME CASES. MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES AND CANADA RESERVE THE DEATH PENALTY FOR SPECIFIC MILITARY OFFENSES. THE UNITED STATES HAS ABOLITIONIST AND RETENTIONIST STATES ALTHOUGH THE SUPREME COURT HAS RULED IT A CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT. ONLY TREASON MAY BE PUNISHABLE BY DEATH IN NEW ZEALAND. EASTERN EUROPEAN SOCIALIST COUNTRIES AND THE MIDDLE EAST ARE THE REGIONS WHERE THE LARGEST NUMBER OF CAPITAL OFFENSES ARE CONTAINED IN PENAL CODES, VISIBLY POLITICALLY MOTIVATED. SPECIFIC QUESTIONS RAISED BY THIS OVERVIEW INFORMATION ARE ENUMERATED. REFERENCES ARE APPENDED. (MRK)
Index Term(s): Africa; Asia; Capital punishment; Criminal codes; Cruel and unusual punishment; Eastern Europe; Europe; Laws and Statutes; Middle East; New Zealand; North America; Political influences; South America; Treason; Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR); United Nations (UN)
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66208

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