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William Kemmler

Capital Punishment Around The World


By the early 2000s the United States was the only Western democracy and one of only two highly developed countries in the world maintaining the death penalty. Japan was the other. Western European countries began abolishing capital punishment in the 1940s through the 1970s. Eastern and Central European countries abolished capital punishment in the 1990s as the control of the Soviet Union ended. The newly established European Union in the 1990s required that countries abolish capital punishment in order to qualify for membership. Other developed countries abolishing capital punishment in the late twentieth century included Australia, Canada, and New Zealand. Nations still using the death penalty, in addition to the United States and Japan, include China, Middle Eastern countries, and African countries.

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