Academic report

Death Penalty Politics: The Fragility of Abolition in Asia and the Pacific

By Mark Finnane, Mai Sato and Susan Trevaskes, on 1 September 2022

Despite a steady increase worldwide in the number of states that have abolished the death penalty, capital punishment remains a troubling presence in the international order. The world’s leading powers in terms of economics and population include the retentionist states of China, India, Japan and the United States of America (USA). It seems there is no linear path to abolition, and its achievement is indeterminate. Yet, in international human rights law, death penalty abolition is a powerful norm embraced by half the countries across the world. While the majority of death penalty research has emanated from and focuses on the USA, well over 90 per cent of global executions occur in Asia, which lags behind the global trend towards abolishing the death penalty. Our symposium and this collection seek to bring perspectives from a variety of disciplines and methods—historical, legal, sociological, comparative— to bear on the questions of retention and abolition in a variety of jurisdictions and time periods.
This article was first published in Crime Justice Journal:

  • Document type Academic report