Even Cuba is joining the 21st Century. Death sentences to be commuted.

Liberals are coming to a country near you!

Well, perhaps not liberals in the sense that you and I consider them, but certainly liberal thinking is progressing in our Caribbean Island neighbor.

From BBC:

Cuba’s President Raul Castro says nearly all death sentences are to be commuted to prison terms of between 30 years and life.

It is the latest in a series of liberalising measures. Mr Castro said the decision was humanitarian and not due to international pressure.

Three people charged with terrorism will stay on death row for the time being. Their cases will be reviewed.

While Cuba plans to keep the option of the death penalty on their statute book, this is a very promising move by the Raul Castro administration towards joining the 21st Century in the arena of human rights improvements.

I’m not saying that Cuba is all of a sudden a world leader in promoting Human Rights, but this does bode well as a beginning.

snip

Cuba has been under pressure from human-rights organisations to abolish the death penalty, which is carried out by firing squad.

There are no official figures, but the Cuban Human Rights Commission estimates that between 40 and 50 inmates could be affected.

Fourty to fifty inmates on Death Row in Cuba, you say?  That doesn’t seem like a lot considering the amount we have here in the USA.  The state of Ohio alone currently has 184 inmates on Death Row.

Below is a list of countries that still have the death penalty as an option in their judicial sentencing structure:

Afghanistan

Antigua and Barbuda

Bahamas

Bahrain

Bangladesh

Barbados

Belarus

Belize

Botswana

Burundi

Cameroon

Chad

China (People’s Republic)

Comoros

Congo (Democratic Republic)

Cuba

Dominica

Egypt

Equatorial Guinea

Eritrea

Ethiopia

Gabon

Ghana

Guatemala

Guinea

Guyana

India

Indonesia

Iran

Iraq

Jamaica

Japan

Jordan

Korea, North

Korea, South

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Laos

Lebanon

Lesotho

Libya

Malawi

Malaysia

Mongolia

Nigeria

Oman

Pakistan

Palestinian Authority

Qatar

St. Kitts and Nevis

St. Lucia

St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Saudi Arabia

Sierra Leone

Singapore

Somalia

Sudan

Swaziland

Syria

Taiwan

Tajikistan

Tanzania

Thailand

Trinidad and Tobago

Uganda

United Arab Emirates

United States

Uzbekistan

Vietnam

Yemen

Zambia

Zimbabwe

Please take note of how many countries in the so-called Western world still use the death penalty as a deterrent to crime.

A rather small, yet glaring list, wouldn’t you say?

snip

This is the latest in a series of social changes announced by Raul Castro since taking over as president from his older brother Fidel in February. They are designed to make life easier and less restrictive for ordinary Cubans.

They include lifting the ban on owning mobile phones and staying in the same hotels previously reserved for foreigners.

It’s not much, yet.  But I’m sure the people of Cuba will take what they can get and be emboldened by any new freedoms that come their way.

When it comes to the death penalty, the people of this country could only be so lucky as to be the receipient of this kind of freedom.

3 comments

    • brobin on May 1, 2008 at 4:08 pm
      Author

    What is it about the makeup of the neo-cons that makes them so antiquated in their thoughts and ideals?  

  1. i had to laugh brobin….

    when one has the opportunity to start an essay with… “even Cuba”

    holy moly. we’re on the list with all of the honor killers…

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