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Senate Being rich or influencial in the judicial system

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Lowbacca_1977, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Jun 28, 2006
    That may be fine rhetoric, but I don't think it's realistic rhetoric. To start with, it's not just dictators and warlords that have the death penalty, and I think that particularly ignores that the death penalty is still more common in Asia, and so for example, Japan also still uses the death penalty. It's very eurocentric, in particular, to act as though the death penalty is that significant of an abnormality in its use.
  2. Saintheart

    Saintheart Jedi Grand Master star 6

    Dec 16, 2000
    Oh, I had Asian death penalties quite firmly in mind when I wrote that. Singapore, for example, has the death penalty. It's a place where you can make as much money as you wish -- so long as you criticise Lee Kuan Yew or his successors in whispers. It's a place where there is religious tolerance -- so long as that religion does not criticise the government or become involved with social justice issues.

    I see no reason to resile from my statement. The dictator or warlord might be fat, and content, and economically successful, clad in all the trappings and none of the substance of democracy, but while he holds the legalised right to take your life from you, he remains a dictator or warlord in truth if not in appearance. Putting Japan forward as some sort of enlightened society in support of a death penalty is laughable: it is one of the most insular and racist nations on the face of the Earth. It refuses to sign the UN Convention against Corruption, and it is regularly criticised for corruption in both its political and judicial legal systems. Its alleged 95% clearance rate for crime is widely acknolwedged to be heavily inflated by forced confessions and framing of innocent people. That, too, is a consistent handmaiden to the death penalty: where it holds, corruption tends to flourish and the black market tends to flourish because it puts a massive premium on trafficking those products which otherwise would attract the death penalty.

    But as I said, none of those nations stand in the peculiarly hypocritical position of the US on this issue.

    Stating that it's eurocentric to demand the end of the death penalty is about as pale and pastel an argument as I can imagine in favour of a death penalty. It reeks of isolationism and attempting to justify gas chambers with cultural relativism. Does an ideal's origin impugn its moral or intellectual force? Will you next argue that because the abolition of slavery came out of Europe first, that emancipation is one of those silly little European ideas which should not burden the Proud American Dream? Is women's suffrage a dirty little eurocentric idea because the US didn't think of it first? The International Committee of the Red Cross? The United Nations?

    Opposition to the death penalty is not eurocentric. It's human-centric. It is a statement of that most fundamental belief: if you would have others revere life, you must show them you revere it yourself.