Abolishing - The Death Penalty - Seeker's Thoughts

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Saturday, 1 December 2018

Abolishing - The Death Penalty

Justice Kurian Joseph view revealed in his last judgment that the time has come to review the death penalty. According to him abolishing capital punishment requires a serious consideration. The Law Commission, in its 262 Report in 2015, said the constitutional regulation of capital punishment attempted, in that case, has failed to prevent death sentences from being “arbitrarily and freakishly imposed”.



International Laws against Death Penalty
Although international law says that the use of the death penalty must be restricted to the most serious crimes, meaning intentional killing, Amnesty believes that the death penalty is never the answer.
The use of the death penalty for crimes committed by people younger than 18 is prohibited under international human rights law, yet some countries still sentence to death and execute juvenile defendants. Such executions are few compared to the total number of executions recorded by Amnesty International each year.
Since 1990 Amnesty International has documented 138 executions of child offenders in nine countries: China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the USA and Yemen.

The Data of the World
In 2017, most known executions took place in China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan – in that order.
China remains the world’s top executioner – but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret; the global figure of at least 993 recorded in 2017 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China.
Excluding China, 84% of all reported executions took place in just four countries – Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan.

Reasons to abolish the death penalty
It is irreversible and mistakes happen. Execution is the ultimate, irrevocable punishment: the risk of executing an innocent person can never be eliminated. Since 1973, for example, more than 160 prisoners sent to death row in the USA have later been exonerated or released from death row on grounds of innocence. Others have been executed despite serious doubts about their guilt.

Reduction in Crime - No It does not help
According to various studies and reports - the death penalty does not deter crime. Countries who execute commonly cite the death penalty as a way to deter people from committing the crime. This claim has been repeatedly discredited, and there is no evidence that the death penalty is any more effective in reducing crime than life imprisonment.
It is often used within skewed justice systems. In many cases recorded by Amnesty International, people were executed after being convicted in grossly unfair trials, on the basis of torture-tainted evidence and with inadequate legal representation. In some countries death sentences are imposed as the mandatory punishment for certain offences, meaning that judges are not able to consider the circumstances of the crime or of the defendant before sentencing.
It is discriminatory. The weight of the death penalty is disproportionally carried by those with less advantaged socio-economic backgrounds or belonging to a racial, ethnic or religious minority. This includes having limited access to legal representation, for example, or being at a greater disadvantage in their experience of the criminal justice system.
It is used as a political tool. The authorities in some countries, for example, Iran and Sudan use the death penalty to punish political opponents.