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Dying out

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Dying out

渐失其势

Little by little, countries are ditching the death penalty

各国逐渐放弃死刑

On September 19th Abdul Hamid al-Fakki, a Sudanese, was executed in Saudi Arabia for the crime of “sorcery”. On September 21st Troy Davis, a black man convicted of shooting an off-duty white policeman, was executed in the American state of Georgia. Protests that the evidence against him was flawed proved fruitless.

9月19日,苏丹人阿布杜尔·哈米德·阿尔法基在沙特被以“巫术”罪处以死刑。 9月21日,黑人特洛伊·达维斯因枪杀一名下班后的白人警察,在美国佐治亚州被处决。 此前,曾有人抗议称证据有瑕疵,但未起到作用。

Despite these cases the death penalty, on the statute books since the days of Hammurabi, is disappearing in much of the world. More than two-thirds of countries have done away with it either in law or in practice. The latest is Benin. In August the west African country committed itself to abolishing capital punishment permanently. The number of countries that carry out judicial killings fell from 41 in 1995 to 23 in 2010, according to Amnesty International, a pressure group. China (chiefly), Iran, North Korea, and Yemen accounted for most of the executions. Votes against the death penalty at the UN General Assembly have passed with big and growing majorities since 2007. Capital punishment has virtually gone in Europe (only Belarus still uses it, most recently in 2010). This year China whittled down its list of crimes punishable by death.

尽管出现了这些死刑案例,但这种自汉谟拉比法典即明令在册的刑罚在世界大多数国家都已消失。 三分之二以上的国家在法律上或实践中废除了死刑。 最新废除死刑的国家是西非国家贝宁。 今年8月,贝宁宣布永久废除死刑。 根据压力集团“大赦国际”的,仍在执行这种法律杀戮的国家从1995年的41个减为2010年的23个。 中国(占大部分)、伊朗、朝鲜和也门执行了绝大多数死刑。 自2007年以来,每年联大都以绝对且不断增加的多数票通过决议,要求废除死刑。 欧洲实际上已经废除了死刑(只有白俄罗斯还保留,最近于2010年执行过)。 今年,中国削减了适用死刑的罪名。

Yet for all the apparent momentum, capital punishment remains entrenched in the Middle East and north Africa, and in parts of Asia, notably China. Jacqueline Macalesher of Penal Reform

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