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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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Asia and the Future of Capital Punishment

Asia and the Future of Capital Punishment

(p.3) 1 Asia and the Future of Capital Punishment
The Next Frontier

David T. Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Franklin E. Zimring (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This introductory chapter explains why this is a critical time for the death penalty in Asia and why Asia will be so significant in determining the future course of the death penalty worldwide. The first section provides a short review of the history of death penalty policy since the end of World War II; it focuses on western Europe, which has been the center of a two-stage change in death penalty practice and theory: first capital punishment was abolished, then the stated reasons for concern about state execution were transformed from criminal justice questions into basic principles about limiting the power of governments to ignore the interests of any of their citizens. The second section outlines some of the unanswered questions that remain about the death penalty. The most fundamental open question is how far the European-led campaign to end execution will go. The third and final section shows why Asia is a critical proving ground for theories about capital punishment and for claims about the future of death as a criminal sanction.

Keywords:   death penalty, execution, Asia, Europe, future

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