Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Iraq: Land of the Death Penalty

According to Amnesty International, there are roughly one thousand people on death row in the country of Iraq. They are currently being held by the Iraqi Ministry of Justice, with some alleging that they were tortured to give false confessions. Iraq's current government has admitted to carrying out executions in secret.

My Gut Reaction: Ah, Iraq, that beacon of freedom in the Middle East.

Analysis: There are a number of human rights issues confronting the Iraqi government which should give observers extreme pause in trusting their use of capital punishment. For example, the Iraqi justice system has been documented to have difficulty dealing efficiently with lesser criminal cases. This is hardly an encouraging prospect for someone facing the death penalty.

I believe the death penalty is barbaric in all cases, no matter how serious the crime. Admittedly, many, although not all, of those facing death in Iraq are terrorists. However, that does not mean we should trust a government to kill them, particularly in a country that was so recently under a dictatorship.

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