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January 26, 2006

The BBC and Its Interest in US Executions

This post (from last week, sorry) from Scott over at The American Expatriate asks why the BBC is so interested in the execution rate here in the US?

So, to sum up, for the year 2005 the BBC covered the executions of 5 specific individuals (and clemency grant of 1) with 21 articles, and touched on the death penalty in the US more generally in an additional 7 pieces. This, in a year in which 60 convicted criminals were executed throughout all of the US. Even if we ignore the BBC's Tookie Williams campaign and count all of its 11 articles on him as one, the BBC still averagied more than an article a month about the US death penalty.

The BBC also repeatedly reminded its readers that the US ranked 4th behind leader China in total number of executions for the year 2004, a fact which presents us with an interesting comparison.

A definitive figure on the number of executions in China for the year 2005 could not be found, but Amnesty International estimates that the figure was "at least 3,400". How many articles do you suppose can be found on the BBC website specifically about executions in China?

Take a guess. I wonder how many of those executed in China had 10 years plus in which to appeal their sentences...

Could this interest have anything to do with the quote at the top of Scott's blog?

"America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge. I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture..." BBC's Washington correspondent Justin Webb, in a remarkably frank admission of his role in misinforming the British public about America and Americans

h/t: GD

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Posted by Pam Meister at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0) | International
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