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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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(p.289) 8 Lessons
The Next Frontier

David T. Johnson (Contributor Webpage)

Franklin E. Zimring (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter makes the case for a regional focus by reviewing the materials in the preceding chapters for insights from Asia about capital punishment in the world in the 21st century. The lessons are organized into three sections. The first section describes features of death penalty policy in Asia that are consistent with the experiences recorded in Europe and with the theories developed to explain Western changes. The second section identifies some of the most significant diversities within the Asian region—in rates of execution, trends over time, and patterns of change—that contrast with the recent history of capital punishment in non-Asian locations and hence challenge conventional interpretations of death penalty policy and change. The third section discusses three ways the politics of capital punishment in Asia is distinctive: the limited role of international standards and transnational influences in most Asian jurisdictions; the presence of single-party domination in many Asian political systems; and the persistence of communist versions of capital punishment in the Asian region. Overall, the study of death penalty policy in Asia confirms many of the major themes that have emerged from studies of the postwar European and Commonwealth experiences.

Keywords:   death penalty, Asia, Asian consistencies, state killing, human rights, limits of government, diversities, Asian differences, Communism, capital punishment

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