Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Don't Throw Stones If You Live In A Glass House

I read a story carried by AddictingInfo.org titled "American ‘Ally’ Saudi Arabia Beheads 100 People In Just 6 Months."  It admonishes the United States for being an ally of Saudi Arabia in spite of their high number of executions.

I know the usage of the death penalty in the United States, especially in Texas, is among the worst in the world.  So, I pulled together some data for comparison.  I found data for a block of years - 2007-2012 - for all the countries in the world and separately I found data for the same years regarding Texas.

Only four countries in the world held more executions than the United States.  They are: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.  All the countries that we accuse of inhumanity.  Such fine company we keep.

Since Texas performs the majority of US executions, I decided to compare Texas.  Only 5 countries in the world executed more people than Texas during the years 2007-2012.  As if that isn’t bad enough, since Texas is only one of 50 US states I decided to rank the nations based on executions per 100 million people.  Texas had a higher execution rate than any country in the world during the years 2007-2012.  In fact, Texas executed 20% more than the second highest country, Iran, and 73% more than Saudi Arabia.

One could argue that the Saudis do it less humanely and publicly but dead is dead.  The US also executes minors and the mentally retarded.  The United States is the only country that has not signed a treaty that bans executions of minors who were under age 18 at the time of their crime. The US has executed 281 minors during its history.  In 1987 there were 32 minors on death row.  Although the US Supreme Court abolished the death penalty for the mentally retarded in 2002, states have continued to execute them.  This year two mentally retarded men were executed in one week in Texas and Georgia.

The United States carries on about how exceptional it is but when compared to other nations the United States does poorly.  We are #1 militarily.  I read recently that the United States has a higher death rate among women during child birth than any other developed nation.  We are #35!  That’s certainly exceptional.  Exceptionally bad.

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