Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pop Quiz - Capital Punishment in America

Which country performed the most executions in 2006: China, Iran, or U.S.A.?

How many executions did the U.S.A. perform in 2006 (to the nearest 100)?

Got your answers in mind?


Would it surprise you to know that China performed 7,500-8,000 executions, Iran 170, but the U.S.A. only 50? From all the attention that the death penalty gets in this country, from the protestations of Amnesty International and the condemnations of "civilized" countries like the U.K. (which doesn't practice capital punishment), you'd think there was a judicial bloodbath going on here. (These statistics come from Amnesty International, by the way - via The Economist's issue of 4/28/07.) In a country of 300,000,000, with about 16,000 murders per year - around 600 of them in NY City, alone - wouldn't you expect the rate of capital punishment to be higher?

And for another point of interesting perspective: worldwide, there are approximately 46 million abortions per year, representing 1 in 4 pregnancies (3 of 4 in Romania and Shanghai, 2 of 3 in Russia). In the U.S., the number is around 1.3 million (3 of 4 pregnancies in New York City).

There is in fact a bloodbath going on, but it's not through capital punishment.

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