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The Next FrontierNational Development, Political Change, and the Death Penalty in Asia$
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David T. Johnson and Franklin E. Zimring

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195337402

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195337402.001.0001

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A Lesson Learned?

A Lesson Learned?

The Philippines

(p.103) 4 A Lesson Learned?
The Next Frontier

David T. Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Franklin E. Zimring (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

After a brief history of capital punishment through the Marcos era, this chapter describes and explains the two Philippine abolitions and some of the other major death penalty developments that have occurred since Marcos was driven into exile and democratization began in this nation. Several themes are prominent, including volatility in death penalty policy and ambivalence about its usage, the high salience of capital punishment in the Philippine polity, the influence of the Catholic Church and of transnational flows of money and ideology, the European-like nature of the first abolition, the “developmentally precocious” nature and timing of the second abolition, and the high frequency of extrajudicial killing. At the end of this story the question remains whether the second abolition has permanently ended the battle over capital punishment in the Philippines or whether it is just one milepost on a journey that the Philippine death penalty will continue to travel. Although some observers believe capital punishment could be revived again, that seems unlikely, not least because the death penalty that was imagined at the time of restoration in 1994 turned out to be very different from the death penalty that was actually delivered.

Keywords:   death penalty, Philippines, first abolition, restoration, second abolition>, ambivalence

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