By Roger Hood, Surya Deva
Capital punishment has for a few years now been the topic of controversy and ethical debate. With the strengthening concentration world wide on human rights there was a flow to abolish this type of punishment or the least bit, uphold the minimal foreign legislations criteria aimed toward keeping the rights of these dealing with capital punishment.
This ebook identifies Asia as being rather unaffected by way of those foreign pressures. The essays contained during this quantity supply an research of adjustments within the scope and alertness of the demise penalty in Asian international locations, and clarify in what methods they fail to satisfy those overseas legislation criteria.
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Extra info for Confronting Capital Punishment in Asia: Human Rights, Politics and Public Opinion
So we can be sure that developmental differences are one major reason why Asia contains hard-line high execution states. What remains to be seen is whether there are substantive differences that will enable hard-line regimes in Asia to persist in the face of full development. To the extent that democracy is produced by development, the recent histories of Taiwan and South Korea suggest that state execution will be under threat in the PRC and Singapore as well. Public opinion The term ‘public opinion’ about the death penalty is a much narrower concept than the cultural values implicated in my earlier discussion of ‘Asian values’.
Thirdly, in Japan there is no requirement that all judges and lay judges agree that a death sentence is deserved, nor is there even a requirement that a ‘super-majority’ of six or seven or eight of the nine people on a panel agree before the ultimate penalty can be imposed. In Japan, a bare ‘mixed majority’—five votes, with at least one from a professional judge—is enough to condemn a person to death. 40 Article 14(3)(d) of the ICCPR states that a person shall be entitled ‘to be tried in his presence, and to defend himself in person or through legal assistance of his own choosing .
The UNHRC has consistently held that if Article 14 (fair trial) of the ICCPR is violated during a capital trial, then Article 6 (right to life) of the Covenant is also breached. In Carlton Reid v Jamaica the UNHRC held that:34 [T]he imposition of a sentence of death upon the conclusion of a trial in which the Provisions of the Covenant have not been respected constitutes . . a violation of Article 6 of the Covenant. As the Committee noted in its General Comment 6(16), the provision that a sentence of death may be imposed only in accordance with the law and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant implies that ‘the procedural guarantees therein prescribed must be observed, including the right to a fair hearing by an independent tribunal’, the presumption of innocence, the minimum guarantees for the defence, and the right to review by a higher tribunal.