Political Audiences and the Abolition of Capital Punishment in the Asia Pacific

in Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
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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.

Political Audiences and the Abolition of Capital Punishment in the Asia Pacific

in Asia-Pacific Journal on Human Rights and the Law
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    Percentage of states that underwent a period of de facto abolition prior to abolishing by law.

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    De facto abolition when grouped with retention. Abolitionist de jure states grouped with retentionist states.

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    De facto abolition as its own category.

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    Number of persons executed annually in Korea between 1989 and 1997.

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    The number of persons executed each year in Indonesia between 1989 and 2016.

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    Nationality of persons on death row for drug offences in Indonesia as of October 2016.

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    Nationality of persons executed for drug offences in Indonesia between 1989 and 2016.

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