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Death Penalty: Selected Statistics From Around the World
In Saudi Arabia they behead capital offenders; some American states prefer electrocution; Egypt, Iran, Japan, Jordan, Pakistan, Singapore and other countries still hang those condemned to death, while Belarus, China, Somalia, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, Viet Nam and other countries shoot the condemned. In China, Guatemala, Thailand, and the United States a lethal injection will do, although Afghanistan and Iran stone their convicts to death.
During 2005 Iran executed 177 people, Pakistan 82 and Iraq and Sudan at least 65 each. That same year, 53 executions were carried out in 12 states in the USA.
Nation-states that permit the death penalty are called retentionist states and countries where capital executions are prohibited are known as abolitionist states.
Social scientific studies concerning the question of the effects that the presence or absence of the death penalty has on national crime rates indicate that abolition of the retributive practice of state-sanctioned killing as punishment for crime has no harmful effects on crime rates.
For example, Canada's murder rate has declined since abolition from 3.09 per 100, 000 1975, the year prior to the death penalty's elimination in Canada, to 2.41 in 1980. Since 1980 Canada's homicide rate has continued to decline to 1.85 per 100, 000 pop. in 2003, 30 years after the abolition of state-sponsored executions.
Four international treaties have been affirmed that ban the use of the death penalty in signatory nation-states: The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, The Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty, Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights), and Protocol No. 13 to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (European Convention on Human Rights).
In the United States of America 12 states executed 53 persons in 2006 bringing the total number of executions nationally to 1057 since the death penalty was reintroduced in 1977. Approximately 3350 persons had been sentenced to death in the US as of January 1, 2007, and 38 of the 50 states in the USA provide for the death penalty.
source: Amnesty International
Contextualizing the US Middle East Arms Package
Many items no longer bear the seal: Made in the USA. Not so with weaponry.
Most US newspapers are focusing on the pending Middle East Arms package, but only on the weapons assistance to Arab nations. Germany too, according to Der Spiegel International, is concerned particularly by arms assistance to Saudi Arabia.
However, Israel is also part of the arms package, although very little media attention has focused on military assistance to that nation despite the fact that she will receive a 25% increase in aid: some $3 billion USD.
Newspapers misconstrue the overall military assistance bill by characterizing it as an "Arab Arms Deal."
Also, few news analysts have questioned the wisdom of the military weapons package en sois. Why offer billions of dollars in weaponry instead of billions of dollars in humanitarian assistance?
According to the Boston Post, the USA is by far the leader in supplying arms worldwide. The United States led international arms deliveries in 2005 by $11.6 billion far outdistancing the UK ($3.1 bil), Russia ($2.8 bil), France ($1.9 bil), and China ($900 mil).
As of 2001 some of the top US arms dealers included Lockheed Martin Corp., Boeing Co., Northrop Grumman Co, Raytheon,General Dynamics Co, United Technologies Co.,Science Applications International, TRW Inc., Health Net, Inc., L-3 Communications Holding, among many others. Unsurprisingly, many of these corporations also make huge contributions to politicians who campaign for federal office including the US Congress.
In 1802 Delaware-based Du Pont Company was primarily an explosives manufacturer as I.E. Du Pont and his family fled the French Revolution settling in America. Early on I.E. Du Pont focused on gun powder as he detected a potential market in the USA to compete with Europe. Du Pont produced an estimated half, or near half, of the gun powder used by the Union forces in the Civil War. Today Du Pont claims market share as the second largest chemical manufacturer in the world following Germany's BASF.
Did you know? General Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, was elected the first president of the National Rifle Association (NRA) in 1883.
Philadelphia IVC says Citizen Diplomacy Works
The Philadelphia International Visitor's Center is an organization that welcomes international visitors to the United States by working in conjunction with the US State Department, the Philadelphia Trade Office, and numerous private businesses and public entities.
The IVC's full program of activities---including an Annual BBQ, International First Fridays, and First Wednesdays---promote cultural exchange, free trade, and international understanding.
You can participate by becoming a member.
For more information contact the IVC c/o Alan Hatfield at 215.683.0992 or
Try citizen diplomacy; it works!
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Constance Lavender is an HIV-Positive pseudonymous freelance e-journalist from a little isle off the coast of Jersey; New Jersey, that is...

In the Best spirit of Silence Dogood and Benj. Franklin, Ms. Lavender believes that a free (more...)
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