During the United States Presidential Election, several states had the opportunity to abolish capital punishment but chose not to.
The states involved were Nebraska, Oklahoma, and California and while Nebraska and California haven’t executed an inmate since 1997 and 2006 respectively, Oklahoma executed their last inmate last year.
Canada hasn’t executed an inmate since 1962, but only chose to abolish the act in 1976 while still carrying out capital punishment for certain offences under the National Defence Act. It was abolished in Canada completely in 1998.
Mount Royal Criminologist and Justice Studies Professor Doug King got into more detail about capital punishment while speaking on 630 CHED’s Ryan Jespersen Show. King said there’s actually correlation between crime rates and countries without capital punishment.
“Violent crime is dropping in the United States, we do know that. But it’s been dropping in every major western society since 1990. So, it’s been dropping in countries that don’t have capital punishment,” said King.
“Criminal activity is predominantly, but not exclusively, an activity of younger males, typically under the age of 35. And what we’re seeing in western society is a shrinking of that demographic group in terms of the proportion in Canadian society.”
King doesn’t believe another debate on capital punishment in Canada will rear its head any time soon.
“It won’t be likely for the next generation or so. I think the issue is settled law in the sense of it would take something pretty extraordinary to bring it back onto the debating table again.”