Edited by Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker
Chapter 9: Capital punishment at the intersections of discrimination and disadvantage: the plight of foreign nationals
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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