Why the Death Penalty is Disappearing

David Garland

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In 1977, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Although the Chinese death penalty numbers are still regarded as state secrets', there is no doubt that China alone executes many more individuals than the rest of the world combined. The Chinese government and many Chinese intellectuals share the assumption that Chinese attitudes towards the death penalty have deep cultural roots. China's Premier Wen Jiabao has claimed that China would not abolish the death penalty due to consideration of China's national conditions'. Despite Chen Xingliang's keen observation of the principles of the escalating violent character of revenge, one has to question his very premise of Chinese death penalty core culture based on an all-embracing popular revenge psychology'. In a 2008-2009 survey many groups in China had majority opinions against or favouring restrictions to the death penalty. Among the 1131 students in the survey, nearly 85 per cent wanted to reduce or abolish capital punishment.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationCapital Punishment
    Subtitle of host publicationA Hazard to a Sustainable Criminal Justice System?
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317169932
    ISBN (Print)9781409457190
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Social Sciences


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