Friday, January 19, 2007
Rwanda to Abandon Capital Punishment
As the United States insists on dishing out the ultimate punishment for condemned inmates, more and more nations are realizing that capital punishment is inhumane and abandoning the practice.
BBC reports that "Rwanda's cabinet has voted to scrap the death penalty." Justice Minister Tharcisse Karugarama said that "if the legislation is approved by parliament, those on death-row would instead serve life in prison."
During the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, more than 500,000 Tutsis and thousands of moderate Hutus were killed by government militia groups. After the Hutu government was overthrown, the genocide stopped; but many of the culprits were later tried, convicted and sentenced to death.
This poor African nation, often decried as barbaric, uncivilized and savage during its civil war only a decade ago, is now showing the U.S. and it's client-state, Iraq, how to heal a nation's wounds without executing its citizens--or its former leaders.
Equal to South Africa, where the nation opted for truth and reconciliation over retributive justice that would have solved absolutelly NOTHING, "[t]he change [will] enable countries which arrest genocide suspects but which object to capital punishment to extradite them to Rwanda."
Indeed, justice for the thousands of victims in Rwanda will be served without the additional shedding of blood that simply reinforces a nation's cycle of violence; and a whole lot more enlightening and satisfying for the victims.
Just ask the poor Kurds who never had a chance to give voice to their outrage in a public forum and have history record it.