Death penalty countries – bad company indeed
Countries with death penalties are run by despots or have heavy influence from religious fundamentalists. This country included. Secular democracies generally do not have death penalties.
With few exceptions, the nations that have abolished capital punishment or discontinued its use are secular democracies. They include every nation in Europe except Belarus, and every country in Latin America except Cuba and Guatemala. Among the other death penalty abolitionists are Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Republic of South Africa. Newly democratic Russia has suspended executions, and pledged to abolish the death penalty.
Those who retain the death penalty fall into four slots.
The first is the entire Islamic world, with the exception of Turkey, which has a secular democracy, and the former Soviet Republics of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan.
The second is India, the world’s second most populous country, whose government is in the hands of Hindu fundamentalists.
The third is what remains of the communist world: China, North Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Cuba.
The fourth is a grab bag of authoritarian governments, including Guatemala, Belarus, Burma and Zimbabwe.
The distribution of the death penalty inside the United States clearly points to the influence of religious fundamentalism, in this case of the Christian variety.