American and European Union Approaches to the Death Penalty: America Should Consider a New Perspective

Katie R Hill
2014 Revista de Direito Internacional  
The United States and the European Union have totally opposite views on the death penalty. The United States has reinterpreted and analyzed capital punishment and its application to the Constitution consistently through history. The European Union, nearly since its inception, has firmly held the death penalty is wrong and cannot be utilized without depriving defendants of basic human rights. These two unions have similar values and priorities, especially when it comes to human rights. However,
more » ... n rights. However, the explanation for such diverse approaches to the death penalty is not yet clear, perhaps because the divergence should not exist. The purpose of this article is to identify, discuss, and attempt to explain the importance of the United States consideration of European Union policies concerning the death penalty. This article will first examine the historical and current death penalty policies of both the United States and the European Union and see where these policies diverge. Next, this article will examine the relationship between these two unions in an attempt to highlight the peculiarity of their policy divergence. This article then addresses potential explanations for this divergence. Finally is the most important and innovative aspect of this article, a compelling proposition that the United States consider the European Union approach. Given the United States relationship with the European Union, it is important that we consider international perspectives in forming our own approach. Consideration of the European Union approach will help the United States justice system, economic system, and foreign and domestic relations.
doi:10.5102/rdi.v10i2.2329 fatcat:o2y2hbrzfbahrnmgodovllgcl4