The Company We Keep

Steven Taylor is troubled by Gallup noting that "use of the death penalty has been declining worldwide, with most of the known executions now carried out in five countries China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United States":

When dealing with issues of justice and human rights, that isn’t exactly the company I would think that the US would aspire to keep.  We are talking about three authoritarian regimes with questionable human rights records (China, Iran and Saudi Arabia), a pseudodemocracy in the context of an ongoing conflict (Iraq), and the country that sees itself as a beacon of liberty and democracy (the US).  One of these things is, theoretically, not like the others.  At a minimum this comparison ought to give us all pause for thought.