This article investigates why some states in the Asia Pacific have retained capital punishment, while others have abolished it, either de facto or de jure. In contrast to existing theories, it is theorised that governments conduct cost-benefit calculations considering both domestic support and international pressure for abolition, then formulate their death penalty policy based on the lowest cost scenario. This theory is tested by applying controlled comparison and process tracing analysis to three cases: Cambodia, South Korea, and Indonesia. These case studies demonstrate that pressures from domestic and international political audiences are determinative in states’ decision-making processes regarding capital punishment.
George Poinar, Samantha Lewis, Bradley Hyman and Nils Hagen
Morphological and molecular studies were used to determine the systematic affinity of the sea urchin parasite, Echinomermella matsi. The absence of somatic ornamentation and external openings in the parasitic juveniles and adults, aside from a small non-functional mouth and male reproductive opening, shows a striking degree of morphological reduction in Echinomermella as an adaptation to a parasitic life style. A phylogenetic analysis of E. matsi by the maximum likelihood (ML) and neighbour-joining (NJ) methods places it within the Order Enoplida. This indicates that Echinomermella evolved from free-living marine enoplids and is not closely related to the Mermithidae as previously thought. The absence of a vulva and male genital supplements, coupled with the modified spicule tips, suggest that traumatic insemination is the standard method of mating. The morphological modifications in Echinomermella indicate a long period of co-evolution with sea urchins, possibly extending back to the Palaeozoic.