"Global trend to end death penalty is accelerating dramatically," is GlobalPost OpEd written by Federico Mayor and Bill Richardson. Mayor is a former Minister of Education and Science of Spain; Richardson, the former governor of New Mexico, who signed that state's repeal legislation into law. Both are now members of the International Commission against the Death Penalty.
Here's the beginning:
Which country will be the last to abolish the death penalty?
Not so long ago, posing such a question would have seemed overly optimistic at best, and naïve at worst. But as we mark Human Rights Day on Dec. 10 — the 65th anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights — we do so knowing that the global outlook is shifting rapidly. The tide has turned irreversibly in the long battle against the death penalty, an inherently cruel and deeply flawed punishment that has done incalculable damage to countless individual lives and whole societies.
The global trend toward abolition has accelerated dramatically in recent years. As recently as the late 1970s, only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Yet today, according to the UN, some 150 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
As understanding has grown that capital punishment is an abhorrence unworthy of a civilized society, government after government — from all major regions, cultures and religions — has rejected it.