Comparative Capital Punishment
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Comparative Capital Punishment

Edited by Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker

Comparative Capital Punishment offers a set of in-depth, critical and comparative contributions addressing death practices around the world. Despite the dramatic decline of the death penalty in the last half of the twentieth century, capital punishment remains in force in a substantial number of countries around the globe. This research handbook explores both the forces behind the stunning recent rejection of the death penalty, as well as the changing shape of capital practices where it is retained. The expert contributors address the social, political, economic, and cultural influences on both retention and abolition of the death penalty and consider the distinctive possibilities and pathways to worldwide abolition.
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Chapter 9: Capital punishment at the intersections of discrimination and disadvantage: the plight of foreign nationals

Carolyn Hoyle


This chapter focuses on discrimination and arbitrariness in the administration of the death penalty in under-researched countries in the Gulf and Asia. In such jurisdictions, it is shown, we learn little by focusing only on race; instead, we need to consider disadvantage and discrimination at the intersections of ethnicity, religion and citizenship. The author turns a critical lens on foreign nationals who typically lack power, resources and access to support networks and do not enjoy the benefits of citizenship. They are subject to suspicion, over-policing, criminalization and discrimination in the criminal process. States compound these disadvantages by decisions about which crimes should be subject to the death penalty and whether to impose religious laws that might impact certain communities adversely. Evidence of discrimination raises the question of what measures those states should take to ameliorate disadvantage. The final section of this chapter considers the positive obligations of states to assist foreign nationals but suggests that such obligations do not guarantee fair treatment of foreign nationals at risk of capital punishment.

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