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Important Research Achievements
[2010] Essays on the Death Penalty in Europe and America Essays on the Death Penalty in Europe and America

In studying European and American civilizations, we found that in human rights protection, Europe is far more advanced than even the United Nations, establishing the European Convention on Human Rights, and European Court of Human Rights. Also, it was found that European countries regard the abolishment of the death penalty as a significant European achievement, brought about one country after another following World War II, with both the Council of Europe and European Union now requiring that member states abolish the death penalty in order to join the organization. Once Europe became the first death penalty-free continent, global elimination of capital punishment became an external policy goal of the EU.

In contrast, the United States of America – the world’s leading democratic state – falls into a minority of the one-third of countries retaining the death penalty, and each year is one of the leaders in the number of executions. The reason of this brand of American exceptionalism is worth investigating. For one, we find serious racial discrimination in American society reflected in a disproportionate number of black males receiving death sentences, particularly in southern states. I attempt to probe American federalism, American public opinion regarding the death penalty, and the U.S. Supreme Court’s review of the constitutionality of the death penalty, to fill in a map on the development of America’s death penalty.

Contents of "Essays on the Death Penalty in Europe and America":

1. EU Policy on the Death Penalty: A World without the Death Penalty

2. American Federalism and American Attitudes towards the Abolition of the Death Penalty

3. The U.S. Supreme Court’s Review of the Constitutionality of the Death Penalty: The Case of Furman, Gregg, and Atkins

4. The Evolution of the Death Penalty in America: The Significance of Striking Down the Juvenile Death Penalty in Roper v. Simmons

5. Is the Death Penalty a Cruel Punishment? The Evolution of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Interpretation


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