Download the 2018 Annual Death Penalty Report here The death penalty: answers to your questionsPrintJanuary 4, 2016 | International politics | Death penalty Share9 Does the death penalty prevent crime? Does it offer justice to the victims? Is there a humane way to execute? Find out all the information about the death penalty through Amnesty’s 10 most frequently asked questions on capital punishment.
Why is Amnesty opposed to the death penalty? The death penalty violates the most fundamental right, the right to life. It is the most extreme form of cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. The death penalty is applied in a discriminatory manner. It is often used against the most vulnerable people in society, including ethnic and religious minorities, the poor, and people with psychological problems.
Do victims of violent crimes and their families
Some governments use it to silence their opponents. When justice systems have deficiencies and unfair trials are widespread, there is always a risk of executing an innocent person. When the death penalty is applied, it is irreversible. The mistakes made cannot be undone.
An innocent person can be released from prison for a crime he did not commit, but an execution can never be reversed. 2. Do victims of violent crimes and their families have no right to justice? Yes, it does.
People who have lost loved ones in horrific crimes have the right to see the responsible person accountable in a fair trial without recourse to the death penalty. In opposing the death penalty, we are not trying to minimize or accept crime, but, as many families who have lost loved ones have said, the death penalty cannot truly alleviate their suffering. It simply extends that suffering to the family of the condemned person.
If you kill a person, don’t you deserve to die too – “an eye for an eye”? No, because we all have human rights. You cannot deprive anyone of these rights, regardless of the crime you have committed. Human rights are valid for the best people and also for the worst.
An execution, or the threat of an execution, inflicts a terrible physical and psychological abuse. A society that executes criminals is committing the same violence that it condemns.
In Canada, the murder rate in 2008 was less than half of 1976
Doesn’t the death penalty prevent crime? According to the investigation, no. There is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty deterred from committing crimes more effectively than the prison sentence. In fact, in countries that have banned the death penalty, there has been no increase in crime figures. In some cases, the reality is that it has decreased. In Canada, the murder rate in 2008 was less than half of 1976, when the death penalty was abolished in the country.
What about capital punishment for terrorists? The threat of execution is unlikely to deter men and women prepared to die for their beliefs, for example, suicide bombers. However, executions are very likely to create martyrs whose memory becomes a cause for claim for their organizations. Our research has shown that in many cases people accused of terrorism are convicted for crimes that are defined in an imprecise manner. Many are sentenced to death because of “confessions” obtained through torture. 6. Isn’t it better to execute a person than to imprison him forever?
Daily, men, women, including minors, await execution on “death row”. Regardless of the crime they have committed, whether they are guilty or innocent, a justice system that values punishment more than rehabilitation takes their lives. As long as the prisoner or the prisoner remains alive, the hope of rehabilitation, or absolution, is maintained if it is later determined that he is innocent.
Is there a humane and painless way to execute a person? All forms of execution are inhumane.
Lethal injection is often argued to be a more humane method because, at least superficially, it seems less cruel and savage than other forms of execution such as beheading, electrocution, the gas chamber or hanging. But the search for a “human” way of killing a person must be seen as it really is: an attempt to make executions more acceptable to the public on whose behalf they are carried out, and to make the governments they execute appear less murderous.
8. Is it an Amnesty business that several societies want to use the death penalty? Human rights, including the most basic right, the right to life, are universal and are ratified by the vast majority of countries in the world. Our call to end the death penalty is a consequence of mercy, compassion and forgiveness emphasized by all the world’s major religions.
What happens if public opinion is in favor of the death penalty
To date, 140 countries have abolished the death penalty in their legislation or in practice, which shows that almost all regions of the world, cultures and societies share the desire to end capital punishment. 9. What happens if public opinion is in favor of the death penalty? Firm public support for the death penalty is often accompanied by a lack of reliable information: it is often mistakenly believed to reduce crime.
Many governments encourage the promotion of this erroneous belief, even if there is no evidence to back it up. Generally, the fundamental factors that underpin the way in which the death penalty is applied are not understood, including the risk of executing an innocent person, the absence of procedural guarantees in trials and the discriminatory nature of the death penalty, all that contributes to having a truly informed opinion on capital punishment.
We believe that governments should be clear about this information, and that they should promote respect for human rights through public education programs. Only then can there be a meaningful debate on the death penalty. Still, the decision to execute a person cannot be made by public opinion; governments must chart the path.