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death-penalty
(08/20/08) -

Mexicans Want Death Penalty for Some Crimes

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in Mexico think the death penalty should be implemented to deal with specific offences, according to a poll by Parametría. At least 60 per cent of respondents think capital punishment should be applied to people convicted of rape, homicide and kidnapping.

(Angus Reid Global Monitor) – The majority of people in Mexico think the death penalty should be implemented to deal with specific offences, according to a poll by Parametría. At least 60 per cent of respondents think capital punishment should be applied to people convicted of rape, homicide and kidnapping.

Only 23 per cent of respondents think armed robbery should carry a death sentence, while 73 per cent disagree.

The death penalty was officially abolished in Mexico in 2005. The Mexican Constitution allowed capital punishment in certain circumstances—such as acts of treason—but no person was executed in the country for more than 50 years.

Mexican voters chose their new president in July 2006. Official results placed Felipe Calderón of the National Action Party (PAN) as the winner with 36.68 per cent of all cast ballots. Calderón—a former energy secretary—took over as Mexico’s head of state in December.

Criminal activity has been a predicament in Mexico for the past few years. According to official National Public Security office statistics, at least 8,416 kidnappings have taken place between 1994 and March 2008. Mexico City has become infamous over the past few years for its "express kidnappings"—a form of quick hostage-taking in which victims are forced to vacate their bank accounts from automated tellers at gunpoint.

Earlier this month, the Mexican Congress approved a series of measures proposed by Calderón to tackle crime, including life-long sentences for convicted kidnappers. During the debates on the proposed reforms, Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) lower house leader Emilio Gamboa Patrón called for the implementation of death sentences for kidnapping offences.

Armando Martínez, president of the College of Catholic Lawyers in Mexico, voiced his group’s disagreement with bringing back capital punishment, saying, "We think the death penalty deters absolutely nobody [from committing a crime]. The option of life in prison needs to be studied. (…) In the U.S., crime and violence continue to be rampant, with 14-year-olds murdering their peers."

Polling Data

Out of the following crimes, which in your view should be punished with the death penalty?

 

Yes

No

Rape

68%

28%

Homicide

64%

32%

Kidnapping

60%

37%

Armed robbery

23%

73%

Source: Parametría
Methodology: Interviews with 1,200 Mexican adults, conducted from Feb. 9 to Feb. 16, 2008. Margin of error is 2.8 per cent.