BBC's WORLD HAVE YOUR SAY & DEATH PENALTY DISCUSSION IN AUSTIN, Texas
By Kevin Stoda
Nov. 18, 2008--I have been listening this evening to World Have Your Say of the BBC in Austin, Texas whereby the topic of the hours is a discussion the death penalty. The BBC program was being carried out at radio station KUT in Austin.
The BBC program leader and his guests were all talking about death penalty in Texas, and callers from South Africa, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, Zambia and many other places were allowed on to talk and share their views.
With rises in violence in South Africa and elsewhere, the Death Penalty is topical once again around the world, especially as the overwhelming number of the callers on this date are noting that they feel that the death penalty is either (a) being carried out well in their country or (b) needed to be carried out.
First, the caller from Iran objected to the death penalty being used for non-capital murder cases. However, in critical tone, this particular Iranian caller noted that people were being stoned for adultery, for example, and he naturally opposed it in such instances. Moreover, this Iranian caller from Tehran then added that in some drug-related cases, execution was permitted in Iran, but he opposed that, too.
Next, we BBC listeners heard that the representatives from the Texas pro-death penalty communities, i.e. government officials and pro-death penalty lawyers both agreed that only capital murder was grounds for capital punishment in Texas. (They called themselves victim rights defenders.)
One South African caller was allowed to be on the line much longer than anyone else. That woman went on-and-on about the injustice of someone being killed over a can of beer.
Meanwhile, one caller from Saudi Arabia, named Husain, implied that the Saudi Arabian system of applying capital punishment was likely better than in Texas as four or more witnesses were always required.
This same Saudi listen also noted that victims rights and wishes were listened to all along during the trial and investigation process in Saudi Arabia. For example, the caller claimed that if the victim's family didn't want the death penalty, none was required by the state in Saudi Arabia.