Monday, January 7, 2008

Executions and...Islam? (or China?...)

The Informed Reader (B8) scoops the Jan. 6 L.A. Times about China and some good news coming from the country. It can be construed as "good" in the sense of "improving," but probably not any more, though.

Add yet another item to the list of things China has changed for the sake of an uncontroversial Olympics: the way it executes people. (Note to self: this is a really good opening sentence. Save it for a historical novel too.)

More people in China will still probably receive the death penalty than in all other countries combined. (The bad.) China considers the number a state secret. Amnesty International estimates that in 2006, 1,051 people were executed.

That represented a 40% drop from the year before. (The good.) Interviews with human-rights advocates, lawyers and defendants suggest the pace of executions decelerated last year as well. Officials sum up the essence of the death-penalty reforms as "kill fewer, kill carefully." Especially notable is that higher courts, which used to rubber stamp death-penalty verdicts, have reviewed a few cases and even reversed a few death sentences.

Wow! If we keep going at this rate, then certain people who think humankind can only survive if 95% of its species dies will have to find some other way to go about saving the world. On another note, now all China has to do to be Olympic-worthy is to allow Bibles in the same fashion they allow copies/translations of the Quran in the country.


Aurora said...

Interesting post, Hannah. I'm thinking about linking to you on it. China is such a snake of an entity with their facades for the west. At least in some small way, a few people's final suffering might be minimized. The deaths those people die in the Chinese jails are absolutely appalling, especially those who are kept for their body parts.

Aurora said...

Found a bit more stuff and posted on this. Cheers.