Friday, March 1, 2013

Televised Death March

The question of capital punishment is already a touchy subject by itself. Setting aside this moral dilemma for a moment, the actions recently taken by the Chinese government seem to take this issue to another level. Recently, they televised four foreign criminals being led to their deaths after being condemned for killing 13 sailors. To the government’s credit they did not film the actual executions, or at least they did not publish them. Still this seems to be a step back to days of public executions. That in itself is worrying. Reportedly there was a general feeling of outrage throughout China after the killing of the sailors, and the Chinese government responded by showing its citizens all of the actions of the prisoners up until the lethal injections. In terms of human rights, this seems appalling. I can’t imagine being friends or family of the deceased and knowing that your loved one’s last, humiliating, terror-filled moments are being broadcasted live on national television. The thought is horrifying. Capital punishment is quite possibly a human rights violation in and of itself, but at least let the condemned prisoners die with dignity.

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