chapter  10
16 Pages

The Death Penalty and Its Enemies: New Global Divisions

Increased revulsion against death, new efforts to fight or conceal it, might logically lead to further attacks on the death penalty, picking up the reform ef forts of the nineteenth century and the quieter, though not uniform, trends of the early twentieth century at least in the Western world. This is exactly what happened in some places. More systematic attempts to ban the death penalty entirely led not only to domestic reforms but also to unprecedented efforts to use world opinion to attack this use of death everywhere. Both new and old or ganizations joined the parade: Various human rights groups-nongovernmental organizations like Amnesty International-took up the cause, and they were joined by a newly activist papacy and Catholic hierarchy. The death penalty, these reformers argued, was wrong no matter what the crime involved.