Opinion, by Michael Royster

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - Brazil abolished the death penalty when it became a Republic in 1889, and has long supported abolishing it everywhere. Its efforts were unsuccessful last Sunday (January 18th), when Indonesia executed, by firing squad, a former Carioca called Marco Archer. Brazil’s President made an impassioned plea for clemency, which was ignored by Indonesia’s President.

There are several ironies here.

Irony the first. Marco Archer freely admitted guilt because he never thought he’d be executed. Born and raised well-to-do in a tropical country where “tudo acaba em pizza” (“no . . .

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