Your search “Keep the Death Penalty Abolished fin the Philippfines ”

View all document types 1995 Document(s)

Document(s)

The Power of Example: Whither The Biden Death Penalty Promise?

on 21 July 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details Download [ pdf - 4342 Ko ]

“The President, his administration and Congress must recognize that respect for human dignity and retention of the death penalty are incompatible; that respect for the rule of law must include international human rights law guaranteeing protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty; that upholding universal rights must include upholding the right of everyone to life and freedom from cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; and that making international institutions stronger must include implementing the conclusions of UN human rights treaty bodies,”

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Government Misconduct and Convicting the Innocent, The Role of Prosecutors, Police and Other Law Enforcement

By Samuel R. Gross, Maurice J. Possley, Kaitlin Jackson Roll, Klara Huber Stephens , on 20 July 2022


2022

Academic report

Innocence


More details See the document

This is a report about the role of official misconduct in the conviction of innocent people. We
discuss cases that are listed in the National Registry of Exonerations, an ongoing online archive
that includes all known exonerations in the United States since 1989, 2,663 as of this writing.
This Report describes official misconduct in the first 2,400 exonerations in the Registry, those
posted by February 27, 2019

  • Document type Academic report
  • Themes list Innocence

Document(s)

Deathworthy: a mental health perspective of the death penalty

By Project 39A, on 7 October 2021


2021

Academic report

India

Mental Illness


More details See the document

A first of its kind report, Deathworthy, presents empirical data on mental illness and intellectual disability among death row prisoners in India and the psychological consequences of living on death row. The report finds that an overwhelming majority of death row prisoners interviewed (62.2%) had a mental illness and 11% had intellectual disability. The proportion of persons with mental illness and intellectual disability on death row is overwhelmingly higher than the proportion in the community population. The report also establishes correlations between conditions of death row incarceration and mental illness and ill-health. Led and conceptualised by Maitreyi Misra (Head, Mental Health and Criminal Justice, Project 39A, National Law University Delhi), the study was conducted under the guidance of Dr. Pratima Murthy (Director, NIMHANS), Dr Sanjeev Jain (Senior Professor, Deptt of Psychiatry, NIMHANS) and Dr Gitanjali Narayanan (Associate Professor, Deptt of Psychology, NIMHANS).

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list India
  • Themes list Mental Illness

Document(s)

The Culture of Capital Punishment in Japan

By David T. Johnson, on 4 July 2020


2020

Academic report

Japan


More details See the document

Japan retains the death penalty for three main reasons: because it missed a major opportunity for abolition in the postwar Occupation, because of the long hegemony of the (conservative) Liberal Democratic Party, and because (like the United States and China) it has sufficient size, economic influence, and political clout to enable it to defy human rights norms. Capital punishment also persists in Japan because it performs welcome functions for politicians, prosecutors, media, and the public.
Despite widespread belief to the contrary, capital punishment in Japan does not deter homicide better than long terms of imprisonment do.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Japan

Document(s)

Annual Report On the Death Penalty in Iran 2023

By Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) with the support of ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty), on 14 March 2024


2024

NGO report

Iran (Islamic Republic of)


More details See the document

Published on March 5, 2024

This report has been drafted by Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) with the support of ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty). Since 2012, Iran Human Rights and ECPM have been working together for the publication, international release and distribution of annual reports on the death penalty in Iran.

The 16th annual report on the death penalty by Iran Human Rights and ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) provides an assessment and analysis of the 2023 death penalty trends in 2023 in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It sets out the number of executions in 2023, the trend compared to previous years, the legislative framework and procedures, charges, geographic distribution and a monthly breakdown of executions. Lists of the female and juvenile offenders executed in 2023 are also included in the tables. The report also looks into the abolitionist movement within Iran, including the forgiveness movement and its contribution to reducing the use of the death penalty, and provides analysis on how the international community can contribute to limiting the scope of the death penalty in Iran. The 2023 report is the result of hard work from Iran Human Rights members and supporters who took part in reporting, documenting, collecting, analysing and writing of its contents. We are especially grateful to Iran Human Rights sources inside Iran who incur a significant risk by reporting on unannounced and secret executions in prisons of 30 different provinces. Due to the very difficult context, the lack of transparency and the obvious risks and limitations that human rights defenders face in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this report does not give a complete picture of the use of the death penalty in Iran by any means. There are 46 reported executions which are not included in this report due to a lack of sufficient details or an inability to confirm cases through two different sources. However, it aims to provide the most complete and realistic figures possible in the present circumstances. The current report does not include suspicious deaths in custody, death row prisoners who died in prison before the executions or those killed under torture. ECPM supports the elaboration, editing process, publishing and distribution of this report in the framework of its international advocacy work against the death penalty. The problems of transparency on the data and information about the death penalty in Iran should be overcome by a strong strategy of distribution and dissemination. The overall objectives of this report for Iran Human Rights and ECPM are to call attention to and publicise the facts, in order to change national and international views on the situation of the death penalty in Iran, first executioner country in the world.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Document(s)

Annual Report on The Death Penalty In Iran 2021

on 28 April 2022


2022

NGO report

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

fr
More details See the document

The 120-page report assesses and analyses trends in death penalty practices in order to propose recommendations, tailored to the national context, and to engage in a constructive dialogue on capital punishment in the country.

The death penalty situation in the Islamic Republic of Iran remains alarming with a significant increase in executions in 2021 (+25%) and an increasing number of Iranian women being executed. The number of executions has doubled after the election of Ebrahim Raeisi as President, and as the Islamic Republic and Western governments negotiate to revive the nuclear deal, also called the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). These are some of the main findings of the 14th Annual Report on the Death Penalty in Iran by Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) and Ensemble Contre la Peine de Mort (ECPM) released today.

Document(s)

From Advocacy To Abolition: How The Universal Periodic Review Can Shape The Trajectory Of The Abolition Of The Death Penalty

By Amy Bergquist, California Western, School of Law, on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

Trend Towards Abolition


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

This article assesses whether there is evidence to suggest that the UPR can influence the timing of a country’s decision to abolish the death penalty. The evidence arises out of the examination of thirty case studies of countries that abolished the death penalty, or ratifiedthe leading treaty calling for abolition. This article concludes that in some circumstances the UPR does appear to influence that timing. These conclusions can assist civil society organizations as they refine their advocacy to encourage more countries to abolish the death penalty.

Part I of this article offers an introduction to the global abolitionist movement and two of its advocacy targets: the U.N. Human Rights Council and the UPR. Part II makes the case for focusing on the UPR to assess the efficacy of U.N. advocacy. Part III describes the process of abolition and offers several theories as to how the UPR might influence a country’s trajectory toward abolition. Part IV sets out the study’s methodology and encompasses the analysis of the case studies, focusing first on countries that have abolished the death penalty early in a UPR cycle, then on countries that have abolished at mid-cycle, and finally on countries that have abolished during the tail end of the cycle. The conclusion discusses the implications of these findings for civil society organizations working toward abolition of the death penalty.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Themes list Trend Towards Abolition

Document(s)

Death Penalty in the OSCE Area: Background Paper 2021

By Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) , on 14 January 2022


2022

Regional body report

Belarus

United States

ru
More details See the document

This paper updates The Death Penalty in the OSCE Area: Background Paper 2020. It is intended to provide a concise update to highlight changes in the status of the death penalty in OSCE participating States since the previous publication and to promote constructive discussion of the issue. It covers the period from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. Special Focus: The road to abolition in selected OSCE participating States

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in the OSCE Area: Background Paper 2020

By Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), on 9 October 2020


2020

Regional body report

Belarus

United States

ru
More details See the document

This paper updates The Death Penalty in the OSCE Area: Background Paper 2019. It is intended to provide a concise update to highlight changes in the status of the death penalty in OSCE participating States since the previous publication and to promote constructive discussion of the issue. It covers the period from 1 April 2019 to 31 March 2020. Special Focus: Is the death penalty inherently arbitrary?

Document(s)

Amnesty International Global Report : Death Sentences and Executions 2021

on 25 May 2022


2022

NGO report

aresfr
More details Download [ pdf - 2638 Ko ]

2021 saw a worrying rise in executions and death sentences as some of the world’s most prolific executioners returned to business as usual and courts were unshackled from Covid-19 restrictions, Amnesty International said today in its annual review of the death penalty.

Document(s)

The Process of Abolishing the Death Penalty in Members States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation

By Nael Georges, ECPM, on 27 November 2020


2020

NGO report

Afghanistan

Albania

Algeria

Azerbaijan

Bahrain

Brunei Darussalam

Burkina Faso

Cameroon

Chad

Comoros

Djibouti

Egypt

Indonesia

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Iraq

Jordan

Kazakhstan

Kuwait

Kyrgyzstan

Lebanon

Libya

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali

Morocco

Mozambique

Niger

Nigeria

Oman

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

Sierra Leone

Somalia

Sudan

Suriname

Tajikistan

Togo

Tunisia

Turkey

Turkmenistan

Uganda

United Arab Emirates

Uzbekistan

arfr
More details See the document

As the 47th session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is being held on 27-28 November 2020 in Niamey, Niger, ECPM and Nael Georges release this study, “The Process of Abolishing the Death Penalty in Member States of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation”.

Document(s)

A Deadly Distraction, Why the Death Penalty is not the Answer to Rape in South Asia

on 25 May 2022


2022

Arguments against the death penalty

NGO report

Bangladesh

India

Pakistan

Sri Lanka


More details See the document

Since 2010, persons convicted of rape offences were executed in at least 9 countries, including India and Pakistan. Moreover, public protests against the rape epidemic, which led governments to introduce capital rape laws, illustrates the need to shine a spotlight in South Asia.

The report examines the use of the death penalty for rape in four South Asian countries: Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and explores ways that anti-death penalty activists can challenge this concerning trend.

  • Document type Arguments against the death penalty / NGO report
  • Countries list Bangladesh / India / Pakistan / Sri Lanka

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in Kenya: A Punishment that has Died Out in Practice, Part Two – Overwhelming Support for Abolition Among Opinion Leaders

on 15 June 2022


2022

Rapport d’ONG

Kenya

Public Opinion 


More details See the document

In 2021, The Death Penalty Project and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, in partnership with the Australian National University commissioned Prof. Carolyn Hoyle, Director of The Death Penalty Research Unit, at the University of Oxford, to undertake research in order to provide accurate data on attitudes towards the death penalty in Kenya and facilitate a constructive conversation on the future of capital punishment. The research examined the views of both the general public in Kenya and also opinion formers, those considered influential in shaping, and responding to, national views.

Key findings :

– The vast majority of opinion formers that took part in the interviews were in favour of abolishing the death penalty.
– 90% of opinion formers were in favour of abolishing the death penalty
– 82% of opinion formers were strongly in favour of of abolishing the death penalty
– Most of the opinion formers interviewed were very well informed on the administration of the death penalty in Kenya.
– Across both groups there were concerns around the possibility that innocent people could be sentenced to death.
– 88% of opinion formers believe wrongful convictions occur fairly regularly
– 93% of opinion formers thought Kenya should be influenced by high rates of abolition around the world
– Opinion formers believed that 75% of the public would accept abolition of the death penalty, despite initial reservations.

  • Document type Rapport d’ONG
  • Countries list Kenya
  • Themes list Public Opinion 

Document(s)

The Illusion of Heightened Standards in Capital Cases

By Anna VanCleave, University of Connecticut - School of Law, on 25 January 2024


2024

Article

Fair Trial

United States


More details See the document

Published on April 3, 2023.

The death penalty has gained its legitimacy from the belief that capital prosecutions are more procedurally rigorous than noncapi-tal prosecutions. This Article reveals how a project of heightened capital standards, set in motion when the Supreme Court ended and then revived the death penalty, was set up to fail.

In establishing what a constitutional death penalty would look like, the Court in 1976 called for heightened standards of reliability in capital cases. In the late 1970s and early 80s, the Supreme Court laid out specific constitutional procedures that must be applied in capital cases, and left the door open for the Eighth Amendment to do even more. In the decades that followed, state and federal courts have fueled a perception of heightened procedural rigor in capital cases by referring repeatedly to the heightened standards applica-ble in capital cases.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Fair Trial

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in Kenya: A Punishment that has Died Out in Practice, Part One – A Public Ready to Accept Abolition

on 15 June 2022


2022

NGO report

Kenya

Public Opinion 


More details See the document

In 2021, The Death Penalty Project and the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, in partnership with the Australian National University commissioned Prof. Carolyn Hoyle, Director of The Death Penalty Research Unit, at the University of Oxford, to undertake research in order to provide accurate data on attitudes towards the death penalty in Kenya and facilitate a constructive conversation on the future of capital punishment. The research examined the views of both the general public in Kenya and also opinion formers, those considered influential in shaping, and responding to, national views.

Key findings:

– 40% in favour of abolishing the death penalty, 10% did not know either way
– 51% in favour of retaining the death penalty, only 32% strongly in favour
– Those against the death penalty believed that criminals deserved the opportunity for rehabilitation.
– Knowledge of the death penalty appears to be limited, just 66% were aware Kenya retains the death penalty and just 21% knew no executions had take place in the past 10 years
– The public expressed concerns around the possibility that innocent people could be sentenced to death: 61% of the public – including retentionists – thought that ‘many’ or ‘some’ innocent people have been sentenced to death in Kenya; only 8% thought that ‘no innocent people have been sentenced to death’
– Public support fell from 51% to 31% when considering abolition in the region
59% of the public, who were initially in favour of retention, said that they would accept a new policy of abolition

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Kenya
  • Themes list Public Opinion 

Document(s)

Prison Conditions in Jamaica

on 19 April 2011


2011

NGO report

Death Row Conditions 

Jamaica


More details Download [ pdf - 396 Ko ]

In criminal justice matters, Jamaica has been rightly praised for its de-facto abolitionist
stance on the death penalty: nobody has been executed on the island since 1988.
However, the alternative to death is imprisonment. For many years, NGOs, the UN
Human Rights Committee, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and
various independent and internal reports have expressed serious concern about the
conditions in which Jamaica detains its prisoners.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Jamaica
  • Themes list Death Row Conditions 

Document(s)

“No One Believed Me”: A Global Overview of Women Facing the Death Penalty for Drug Offenses

on 5 October 2021


2021

NGO report

Drug Offenses

Women

fr
More details See the document

“No one believed me” is a quote from Merri Utami, who was sentenced to death for drug trafficking in Indonesia in 2002. Her quote reflects the injustices faced by women accused of capital drug offenses around the world: many decision-makers disbelieve women’s plausible innocence claims or discount the effects of relationships and economic instability on women’s decisions to traffic drugs.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses / Women
  • Available languages

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in 2022: Year End Report

By Death Penalty Information Center, on 16 December 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details See the document

In a year awash with incendiary political advertising that drove the public’s perception of rising crime to record highs, public support for capital punishment and jury verdicts for death remained near fifty-year lows. Defying conventional political wisdom, nearly every measure of change — from new death sentences imposed and executions conducted to public opinion polls and election results — pointed to the continuing durability of the more than 20-year sustained decline of the death penalty in the United States.
The Gallup crime survey, administered in the midst of the midterm elections while the capital trial for the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was underway, found that support for capital punishment remained within one percentage point of the half-century lows recorded in 2020 and 2021. The 20 new death sentences imposed in 2022 are fewer than in any year before the pandemic, and just 2 higher than the record lows of the prior two years. With the exception of the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the 18 executions in 2022 are the fewest since 1991.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in 2021: Year End Report

By Death Penalty Information Center, on 14 January 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details See the document

The death penalty in the USA in 2021 was defined by two competing forces: the continuing long-term erosion of capital punishment across most of the country, and extreme conduct by a dwindling number of outlier jurisdictions to continue to pursue death sentences and executions.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

ICDP Launches How States abolish the Death Penalty: A Supplement of Case-Studies

By International Commission against the Death Penalty, on 17 November 2022


2022

NGO report


More details See the document

An increasing number of countries have recognized that state killing undermines human dignity and respect for human rights, such as the discriminatory use of the death penalty, the use of forced confession that increases the possibility of executing an innocent person, and the lack of deterrence effect of capital punishment. This move towards abolition of the death penalty is being witnessed in all regions of the world regardless of political system, religion, culture or tradition. As of today, at least 110 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, while at least eight countries have abolished for ordinary crimes, while less than 20 countries have reportedly
carried out executions in 2021.
This publication is a supplement to the ICDP´s 2018 work on “How States Abolish the Death Penalty: 29 Case Studies.”

  • Document type NGO report

Document(s)

The Public Opinion Myth. Why Japan retains the death penalty

By Mai Sato & Paul Bacon, on 5 August 2015


2015

Academic report


More details See the document

In this report, Mai Sato and Paul Bacon go beyond the simple results of opinion polls conducted
recently by the Japanese government, which show very high levels of support for the death penalty.
Using a similar methodology and sample, the authors reveal that the majority of the population form
their views on the death penalty with limited information and based on often inaccurate perceptions
– for example, believing that the crime rate is increasing. Sato and Bacon also demonstrate that
people have a relatively low level of ‘psychological ownership’ when it comes to the future of the death
penalty: the majority think that the government and experts should decide. Furthermore, discussions
about the death penalty among participants increased tolerance towards those with different views –
which, in turn, facilitated potential reform and change.

  • Document type Academic report

Document(s)

Getting to Death: Race and the Paths of Capital Cases after Furman

By Fagan, Jeffrey and Davies, Garth and Paternoster, Raymond, Columbia Public Law Research Paper, Forthcoming, Cornell Law Review, Vol. 107, No. 1565, 2022, on 13 January 2023


2023

Academic report

Fair Trial

United States


More details See the document

Decades of research on the administration of the death penalty have recognized the persistent arbitrariness in its implementation and the racial inequality in the selection of defendants and cases for capital punishment. This Article provides new insights into the combined effects of these two constitutional challenges. We show how these features of post-Furman capital punishment operate at each stage of adjudication, from charging death-eligible cases to plea negotiations to the selection of eligible cases for execution and ultimately to the execution itself, and how their effects combine to sustain the constitutional violations first identified 50 years ago in Furman. Analyzing a dataset of 2,328 first- degree murder convictions in Georgia from 1995–2004 that produced 1,317 death eligible cases, we show that two features of these cases combine to produce a small group of persons facing execution: victim race and gender, and a set of case-specific features that are often correlated with race. We also show that these features explain which cases progress from the initial stages of charging to a death sentence, and which are removed from death eligibility at each stage through plea negotiations. Consistent with decades of death penalty research, we also show the special focus of prosecution on cases where Black defendants murder white victims. The evidence in the Georgia records suggests a regime marred less by overbreadth in its statute than capriciousness and randomness in the decision to seek death and to seek it in a racially disparate manner. These two dimensions of capital case adjudication combine to sustain the twin failures that produce the fatal lottery that is the death penalty.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Fair Trial

Document(s)

Women and The Death Penalty in Kenya: Essays on the Gendered Perspective of the Death Penalty

on 2 February 2024


2024

NGO report

Death Row Conditions 

Fair Trial

Gender

Kenya

Women


More details See the document

This publication seeks to make visible the gender and intersectional discrimination faced by women in the judicial process leading to the death penalty. Through the various articlesin this publication, the authors bring to light the reality of women facing the death penalty through a different lens.

The first author, Shekinah Bright Kiting’a, in making a compelling case for abolition of the death penalty, explores how the death penalty uniquely affects women in the context of motherhood. Further, she highlights the rights and well-being of the children affected by their mothers’ death sentences, revealing flaws in our legal and ethical systems. With the overall aim of advocating for its abolition due to its significant impact on both parenthood and children’s rights, her article seeks to push for reforms that honour motherhood and prioritize children’s well-being in these difficult circumstances.

Kenaya Komba dissects gender disparity in the judicial system by exploring the intersection of domestic violence and the death penalty. In making a case for a restorative approach to justice, her article analyses the impact of capital punishment on victims of domestic violence and the systemic injustice and biases they continue to grapple with. Her elaborate analysis of the Constitution of Kenya, 2010 and the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act, 2016, highlights the urgent need for reform in the legal system.

While Analyzing the role the media plays in shaping perceptions of women on death row, Patricia Chepkirui evaluates the implications of positive and negative media portrayals of such women by highlighting the ethical responsibilities of media in the coverage of women on death row cases. The article ultimately underscores the significance of responsiblemedia coverage in ensuring that media exposure of cases of women on death row is fair,balanced, and respectful of their rights and dignity.

Alex Tamei delves into the intricacies of abuse, gender-based violence, and trauma as mitigating factors in death penalty sentencing for women. His article comparatively analyses two Kenyan cases of murder in retaliation to intimate partner violence, seeking to shed light on the plight of victims of gender-based violence. The article effortlessly brings out the nexus between the death penalty and intimate partner violence and makessolid recommendations for change.

The fifth author, Patience Chepchirchir, delves into the nexus between psychological abuse and provocation. Through her article, she brings out the scope of psychological abuse while focusing on the linkage between emotional abuse and provocation and how the same can be considered as mitigating factors. Through an elaborate analysis of case law, she makes a case for psychological abuse of women as a mitigating circumstance during sentencing.

Stella Cherono’s article reflects on the intersectional discrimination faced by women in the criminal trial process leading to death row. The article highlights the complex and overlapping forms of discrimination women experience during the pretrial, trial and sentencing stages. Through her comprehensive analysis of gendered pathways to offending and imprisonment, she challenges how society perceives discrimination.

Loraine Koskei Interrogates the emerging jurisprudence on Intimate Partner Violence.Her article lays out the gendered factor in the commissioning and sentencing of women convicted of murder and offers possible recommendations.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Kenya
  • Themes list Death Row Conditions  / Fair Trial / Gender / Women

Document(s)

Gender, Violence, and the Death Penalty

By Sandra Babcock and Nathalie Greenfield, California Western International Law Journal , on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

Gender

Women


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

This article is the first in a series that will systematically explore how gender has affected the criminal proceedings of women currently on death row. For this inaugural article, we have undertaken the first—and, to our knowledge, only comprehensive analysis of gender-based violence (“GBV”) in the lives of all women currently on death row, examining the prevalence of GBV and how it has shaped the lives and affected the criminal prosecutions of women facing execution. Our research reveals, for the first time, that almost every woman on death row in the United States has experienced GBV. Indeed,the great majority have experienced more than one incident of GBV in their lifetime. Our findings align with previous studies demonstrating that women’s pathways to incarceration are paved with physical, sexual, and psychological abuse. Our research further shows that both in the United States and around the world, defense attorneys frequently fail to present evidence of GBV in women’s capital trials. When they do introduce such evidence, they fail to fully explain the nature of their clients’ victimization and the harm they have suffered as a result. Moreover, prosecutors frequently rely on gendered tropes to discredit women’s accounts of violence such as childhood sexual abuse, rape, and intimate partner violence. Consequently, those who sentence women to die rarely comprehend the extensive trauma that the women have endured throughout their lives, and how that trauma relates to their legal and moral culpability.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Themes list Gender / Women

Document(s)

The Myth of Autonomy Rights

By Kathryn E. Miller, on 20 July 2022


2022

Article

United States


More details See the document

Supreme Court rhetoric, scholarly discussion, blackletter law, and ethical rules have perpetuated a myth that individual rights protect the autonomy of defendants within the criminal legal system. To expose this myth, I examine six rights that the Court has enshrined as essential decision points for criminal defendants due to the rights’ purported expressive and consequential functions: (1) the right to self-representation; (2) the right to plead guilty; (3) the right to waive a jury; (4) the right to testify; (5) the right to waive appeals; and (6) the right to maintain innocence at a capital trial. I conclude that each of these rights fails to protect defendant autonomy.

I then argue that genuine displays of autonomy under the criminal legal system take the form of resistance to the law, legal advocates, and the legal system. Thus, the autonomy of criminal defendants occurs not because of law but in spite of it. As such, scholarly discussions of the personal autonomy of criminal defendants should focus not on rights and rules but on acts of resistance. The current autonomy rights discourse is harmful because it obscures the system’s defects by framing discussions around individual rights instead of structural limitations. This lends itself to solutions involving procedural tinkering to better actualize individual rights instead of radical structural reform or abolition. By obscuring these structural defects and stressing the system’s protective qualities, the autonomy rights discourse presents the system not only as legitimate, but as functional, and potentially even successful. As such, a new scholarly frame is warranted: autonomy as resistance to law and the legal system. By illuminating the ways in which autonomy in the criminal legal system resembles autonomy under the American institution of slavery, the autonomy as resistance frame exposes the need for radical structural change and facilitates a reimagining of the criminal legal system.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in 2023: Year End Report

By The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), on 25 January 2024


2024

NGO report

Public Opinion 

United States


More details See the document

Published on December 01, 2023.

Innocence cases dominated much of the media’s attention on death penalty cases in 2023. While these prisoners were largely unsuccessful in the courts, there was unprecedented support for their claims from state legislators, prosecutors, judges, and other elected officials, some of whom declared themselves newly disillusioned with use of the death penalty in their state. This year is the 9th consecutive year with fewer than 30 people executed (24) and fewer than 50 people sentenced to death (21, as of December 1). The 23 men and one woman who were executed in 2023 were the oldest average age (tied with 2021) and spent the longest average number of years in prison in the modern death penalty era before being executed. As in previous years, most prisoners had significant physical and mental health issues at the time of their executions, some of which can be attributed to the many years they spent in severe isolation on death row. Continued difficulties obtaining lethal injection drugs led some states to explore new, untested methods of execution or revive previously abandoned methods. Other states enacted or continued pauses on executions while the state’s method of execution was studied.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Public Opinion 

Document(s)

Sentenced to Death Without Execution

on 15 December 2020


2020

NGO report

Antigua and Barbuda

Barbados

Dominica

Grenada

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Lucia

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Trend Towards Abolition


More details Download [ pdf - 1597 Ko ]

This research is a contribution towards understanding why six small, independent island nations in the
Eastern Caribbean – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, and St
Vincent and the Grenadines, all members of the OECS – and the neighbouring island of Barbados retain
the death penalty in their criminal statutes, and yet have not executed anyone sentenced to death for a
very long time. With the exception of St Kitts and Nevis, where an execution took place in 2008, no-one
has been judicially executed in any of the other countries for more than 20 years – and in Dominica,
Grenada, St Lucia and Barbados for more than 30 years. Furthermore, death sentences have been imposed
within the past 10 years only in St Lucia and Barbados, and in four of these seven nations no-one is under
sentence of death on ‘death row’ at the time of writing.
The questions posed by this publication are: why do these countries hang on to capital punishment
and what are the barriers and hindrances to the complete abolition of capital punishment by these
nations

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Antigua and Barbuda / Barbados / Dominica / Grenada / Saint Kitts and Nevis / Saint Lucia / Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Themes list Trend Towards Abolition

Document(s)

Killing in the Name of God: State-sanctioned Violations of Religious Freedom

By Eleos Justice, Monash University, on 10 November 2021


2021

Academic report

Brunei Darussalam

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Maldives

Mauritania

Nigeria

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

Somalia

United Arab Emirates

Yemen


More details See the document

As of 2020, blasphemy was formally criminalised in some 84 countries. As many as 21 countries criminalised apostasy as of 2019. The legal penalties for such offences range from fines to imprisonment to corporal punishment—and in at least 12 countries, the death penalty.

This report examines the extent to which States commit, or are complicit in, killings that violate religious freedom. Focussing on the 12 States in which offences against religion are lawfully punishable by death, we examine four different types of State-sanctioned killings on the basis of religious offence (apostasy, blasphemy, or alike) or affiliation (most commonly, membership of a religious minority): judicial executions, extrajudicial killings, killings by civilians, and killings by extremist groups. We explore the relationship between the retention of the death penalty for religious offences and other forms of State-sanctioned killings motivated by alleged religious offending or by religious identity.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Brunei Darussalam / Iran (Islamic Republic of) / Maldives / Mauritania / Nigeria / Qatar / Saudi Arabia / Somalia / United Arab Emirates / Yemen

Document(s)

Amnesty International Global Report : Death Sentences and Executions 2022

By Amnesty International, on 16 May 2023


2023

NGO report

aresfrzh-hant
More details See the document

This report covers the judicial use of the death penalty for the period January to December 2022. Amnesty International reports only on executions, death sentences and other aspects of the use of the death penalty, such as commutations and exonerations, where there is reasonable confirmation. In many countries governments do not publish information on their use of the death penalty.

Document(s)

The Court is Satisfied with the Confession: Bahrain Death Sentences Follow Torture, Sham Trials

By Human Rights Watch, on 10 October 2022


2022

Article

Bahrain

ar
More details See the document

In a February 2019 letter to the United Nations Office in Geneva, the government of Bahrain claimed that its courts “actually hand down very few death sentences.” In fact, since 2011, courts in Bahrain have sentenced 51 people to death, and the state has executed six since the end of a de facto moratorium on executions in 2017. As of June 2022, 26 men were on death row, and all have exhausted their appeals. Under Bahraini law, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa has the power to ratify these sentences, commute them, or grant pardons.

Document(s)

“Don’t let them kill us”: Iran’s relentless execution crisis since the 2022 uprising

By Amnesty International, on 4 April 2024


2024

NGO report

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

fa
More details See the document

Published in 2024.

This research briefing documents the horrifying surge in executions in Iran in 2023, the highest in eight years. More than half of the executions were for drug-related offences amid a distressing return to a lethal antinarcotics policy since Ebrahim Raisi’s rise to presidency in 2021. With systemic impunity in Iran, the briefing reiterates the need for states to initiate criminal investigations under the principle of universal jurisdiction into crimes under international law committed by Iranian officials, irrespective of the absence or presence of the accused in their territory. Since the “Woman Life Freedom” uprising of September-December 2022, the Iranian authorities have weaponized the death penalty to create a pervasive climate of fear across the country, exert control over the population, and suppress dissent and any challenge to their iron grip on power. As a result, 2023 saw an exponential increase in the number of recorded executions. The authorities executed at least 853 people in 2023, a 48% increase from 2022 when 576 people were executed and a 172% increase from 2021 when 314 people were executed. Amnesty International believes that the real number of executions is higher, but the Iranian authorities are not transparent about the number of people executed each year and do not make data on executions publicly available.

Document(s)

Doomed to Repeat: The Legacy of Race in Tennessee’s Contemporary Death Penalty

By Death Penalty Information Center, on 16 June 2023


2023

NGO report

Fair Trial

United States


More details See the document

This report explores the current issues with capital punishment in Tennessee through a historical lens, tracing the origins of the use of the death penalty from lynchings and other forms of racial violence directed at Black Tennesseans. The stories of individuals and communities that have interacted with different facets of Tennessee’s justice system throughout history suggest that, in many ways, even though centuries have passed, the experiences of discrimination toward Tennessee’s communities of color continue. A meaningful understanding of the state’s history and its legacy of violence and racism is essential to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Fair Trial

Document(s)

Explaining the Invidious: How Race Influences Capital Punishment in America

By Sheri Lynn Johnson, James and Mark Flanagan, Cornell Law School, on 1 September 2022


2022

Academic report

United States


More details See the document

This article primarily focuses on how racial bias creates nearly ubiquitous racial disparities in the imposition of the death penalty; it does so both to amass further reasons McCleskey was wrongly decided, and to point the way forward. Part I provides the necessary foundation by summarizing the history of race and the death penalty in the United States, with a focus on the Supreme Court’s treatment of racial discrimination claims in capital sentencing. Part II, the heart of this Article, examines the multiple psychological mechanisms that create racially biased decision making in capital cases. Understanding those mechanisms further undercuts the Supreme Court’s reasoning in McCleskey and argues for overturning the holding. However, recognizing the reluctance with which today’s Court would view overturning McCleskey, Part III considers whether and how alternative, case-specific uses of the data described in Part II might ameliorate the influence of racial bias in capital sentencing.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Living Under Sentence of Death

on 22 April 2022


2022

Academic report

NGO report

Bangladesh

Death Row Conditions 


More details See the document

In 2019-20, The Department of Law at the University of Dhaka, in collaboration with the Bangladesh Legal Aid and Services Trust (BLAST) and The Death Penalty Project, conducted a study to investigate socio-economic characteristics and experiences of death row prisoners in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh continues to retain and implement the death penalty, with several executions taking place each year. Excluding laws relating to the defence forces and international crimes, there are currently 33 crimes punishable by death. 25 of these offences are non-lethal and arguably do not meet the threshold of the ‘most serious crimes’ under international law.

Inspired by similar studies in other countries, a pilot study was commissioned to examine the demographics and experiences of those sentenced to death. Consistent with those studies around the world, our findings evidence that the death penalty in Bangladesh is disproportionately used against the most vulnerable and marginalised sections of society.

72% of prisoners were classified as economically vulnerable
53% of prisoners were in low-paid work or unemployed
87% of prisoners had no qualifications beyond secondary school level
15% of prisoners had no formal education.

The study also raised serious concerns around the treatment of prisoners, the length of time prisoners spent in prison under the sentence of death and the integrity of criminal investigations and trial.

33% of prisoners’ families alleged their relative had been tortured in police custody, 5% suspected this and 15% refused to comment
60% of respondents were not satisfied with the trial process, with some claiming that the courts had failed to properly appreciate the evidence
On average it took over 10 years for death row cases to be disposed by the HCD (where sentences are confirmed). Prolonged time spent in isolation on death row, has been declared inhumane and degrading in many countries.

The sample consisted of 39 individuals on death row, evidence from their case files and face-to-face interviews with their families were conducted under rigorous ethical guidelines to reveal their profiles and experiences. Despite its small size, the sample is indicative of the general prison population allowing us to draw conclusions on possible trends.

  • Document type Academic report / NGO report
  • Countries list Bangladesh
  • Themes list Death Row Conditions 

Document(s)

A/HRC/51/7 – Advance Edited Version – Question of the death penalty

By Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on 26 July 2022


2022

United Nations report


More details See the document

Pursuant to Human Rights Council decision 18/117, the present report is submitted to update previous reports on the question of the death penalty. In the report, the Secretary-General reaffirms the trend towards the universal abolition of the death penalty and highlights initiatives limiting its use and implementing the safeguards guaranteeing the protection of the rights of those facing this severe penalty. A minority of States continued to use the death penalty. Pursuant to Council resolution 22/11, the report also includes information on the human rights of children of parents sentenced to the death penalty or executed.

  • Document type United Nations report

Document(s)

Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report 2023

By Project 39A, on 15 February 2024


2024

NGO report

India


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

This is the eighth edition of the Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report. This annual publication presents changes in the death row population as well as political and legal developments in the administration of the death penalty in India each year. The statistics are compiled through a combination of data mining of court websites, media monitoring and Right to Information applications.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list India

Document(s)

Extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions

By United Nations General Assembly, on 5 August 2022


2022

United Nations report


More details See the document

To mark the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of the mandate on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Morris Tidball-Binz, offers a reflection from a historical perspective on the establishment of the mandate and the subsequent evolution of its working methods. He retraces the development of international standards and guidelines elaborated with the substantial contribution and support of the various mandate holders. The report also contains an analysis of the question of the death penalty from the perspective of whether it is compatible with the absolute prohibition of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and recommendations aimed at ensuring the protection of the right to life, as guaranteed under international human rights instruments.

  • Document type United Nations report

Document(s)

Resolution 77/274 – Moratorium on the use of the death penalty

By United Nations General Assembly, on 8 August 2022


2022

United Nations report


More details See the document

The present report provides information on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 75/183. It discusses developments towards the abolition of the death penalty and the establishment of moratoriums on executions and highlights trends in the use of the death penalty, including the application of international standards relating to the protection of the rights of those facing the death penalty. The report discusses conditions of detention for persons on death row, the application of the death penalty to foreign nationals, its disproportionate and discriminatory application to women, its disproportionate impact on poor and economically vulnerable individuals, its discriminatory use relating to persons exercising their human rights, and various initiatives for advancing its abolition. The report welcomes progress made towards universal abolition in States representing different legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds. It concludes that all measures aimed towards limiting the application of the death penalty constitute progress in the protection of the right to life.

  • Document type United Nations report

Document(s)

How to Work with Parliamentarians for the Abolition of the Death Penalty

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 7 October 2021


2021

Working with...

World Coalition

Moratorium

Public Opinion 

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 18114 Ko ]

This how-to guide, elaborated with Parliamentarians for Global Action with highlights coming from the African continent, is specifically designed for the use of abolitionist civil society groups who want to work with parliamentarians for the abolition of the death penalty.

Document(s)

The Clemency Process in East and Southeast Asia

on 22 March 2022


2022

NGO report

China

Clemency

Indonesia

Japan

Malaysia

Singapore

Taiwan

Thailand

Viet Nam


More details Download [ - 0 Ko ]

In this report, we summarise the current international position on clemency and the death penalty and compare it to snapshots of the clemency processes in the following Southeast and East Asian countries: Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan, Taiwan, and China. All references to clemency in this paper are in the context of reprieve from the death penalty.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list China / Indonesia / Japan / Malaysia / Singapore / Taiwan / Thailand / Viet Nam
  • Themes list Clemency

Document(s)

Data Mapping: Women on Death Row

By World Coalition against the Death Penalty , on 1 August 2023


2023

NGO report

Gender

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 813 Ko ]

In 2021, the 19th edition of the World Day Against the Death Penalty (“World Day” on October 10) was dedicated to the invisible reality of women on death row, paving the way for new data on the issue of women sentenced to death. Many members of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (“World Coalition”), in preparation for 10 October, conducted research to document the situations of women facing the death penalty around the world. To systematize the information collected and have a global understanding of women sentenced to death, the World Coalition conducted a data systematization exercise.
This short report presents the main conclusions of this country exercise. These findings are a compilation of existing data available to the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty and its members organization up to December 2022.

Document(s)

United States – Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination – Death Penalty – May 2022

on 21 July 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details Download [ pdf - 703 Ko ]

1. The Committee last reviewed the United States’ compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 2014. Among the 2014 Concluding Observations are two recommendations relevant to this Report. 2. The Committee stated that it “remain[ed] concerned that members of racial and ethnic minorities, particularly African Americans, continue to be disproportionately arrested, incarcerated and subjected to harsher sentences, including life imprisonment without parole and the death penalty.” Among other things, the Committee encouraged “[a]mending laws and policies leading to racially disparate impacts in the criminal justice system … and implementing effective national strategies or plans of action aimed at eliminating structural discrimination.” The Committee specifically encouraged “[i]mposing a moratorium on the death penalty, at the federal level, with a view to abolishing the death penalty.”1 3. The Committee also commented on “the ongoing challenges faced by indigent persons belonging to racial and ethnic minorities to access legal counsel in criminal proceedings in practice.” The Committee encouraged the adoption of “all necessary measures to eliminate the disproportionate impact of systemic inadequacies in criminal defence programmes on indigent defendants belonging to racial and ethnic minorities, including by improving the quality of legal representation provided to indigent defendants.”2 4. This report addresses the United States’ compliance with its human rights obligations under the Convention with regard to the death penalty, including with respect to those areas identified in the Committee’s 2014 Concluding Observations as described above.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Proven With(out) Certainty: How Judges Sentence Defendants to Death for Drug Offences in Iran

By Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, Monash University and ELEOS Justice, on 6 February 2024


2024

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

Published in April 2023.

Despite the reduction in the number of executions for drug offences during 2018-2020, a sudden increase in executions was recorded during 2021-2023: at least 131 known executions were recorded for drug offences in 2021, 253 executions in 2022, and 82 executions during the first 3 months of 2023 (Table). However, information concerning the death penalty in Iran is notoriously difficult to obtain because of the secrecy surrounding the country’s criminal justice process. This note provides a rare glimpse into the application of capital drug laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It exposes the idiosyncratic practices of the judiciary and its decision-making, using cases concerning the death penalty for drug offences—its imposition prohibited long under international standards. These judgments repeatedly use the language of ‘certainty’ in convicting the accused. In reality, to those familiar with basic fair trial standards, they raise serious concerns about miscarriages of justice that could potentially result in the erosion of legitimacy of the criminal ‘justice’ system in Iran.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Worked to Death: A study on migrant workers and capital punishment

By Migrant Care and Reprieve, on 24 November 2021


2021

NGO report

Fair Trial

Indonesia

Legal Representation

Malaysia

Nigeria

Pakistan

Saudi Arabia

Women


More details See the document

Foreign nationals, and within this group migrant workers, are a population that disproportionately faces the death penalty around the world. The data and statistics gathered by Reprieve and Migrant CARE for this report show that migrant workers as a sub-set of the foreign national population are at grave risk of human rights violations related to the death penalty, including arbitrary deprivation of the right to life in the context of unlawful death sentences and executions.

This report focuses on: states that receive migrant workers (‘receiving states’), in particular the states that make up the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN (‘South East Asian states’) and the Gulf Cooperation Council (‘Gulf states’), and on states from which migrant workers travel to work (‘sending states’).

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Indonesia / Malaysia / Nigeria / Pakistan / Saudi Arabia
  • Themes list Fair Trial / Legal Representation / Women

Document(s)

Defending Women and Transgender Persons Facing Extreme Sentences: A Practical Guide

on 14 January 2022


2022

Legal Representation

Legal Representation

Women

fr
More details See the document

Written by a team including experts in the fields of capital defense, gender rights, gender-sensitive mitigation and the rights of transgender persons, the guide includes sections on gender-based violence, women’s mental health, prison conditions, discrimination in the legal system, working with the media, and how to build a gender-sensitive team. It also includes a step-by-step gender-sensitive interview protocol that builds on resources developed by the anti-violence community and is tailored to the needs of defense teams.

Document(s)

DPIC Special Report: The Innocence Epidemic

By Death Penalty Information Center, on 20 July 2022


2022

NGO report

Innocence

United States


More details See the document

A Death Penalty Information Center Analysis of 185 Death-Row Exonerations Shows Most Wrongful Convictions Are Not Merely Accidental.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Innocence

Document(s)

The Philippines – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 31 March 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Philippines


More details Download [ pdf - 320 Ko ]

1. This report addresses the Philippines’ compliance with its international human rights
obligations with respect to the death penalty. For years, the Philippines imposed the death
penalty, particularly for so-called heinous crimes. In 2006, President Gloria MacapagalArroyo abolished the death penalty.1 Since then, however, lawmakers have introduced
numerous bills to reinstate the death penalty, with the House adopting Bill No. 7814 as
recently as March 2, 2021.2

2. The report examines the current state of the death penalty in the Philippines, including (1)
acceptance of international norms; (2) proposed legislation reintroducing the death penalty;
(3) torture and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment in enforcing drug control; (4)
conditions of detention; and (5) administration of justice and fair trial.

3. This report recommends that the Philippines continue the abolition of the death penalty,
refrain from reintroducing the death penalty, honor its international commitments, and
implement a human rights-based approach to anti-drug policy

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Philippines

Document(s)

Death Penalty For Drug Offences: Global Overview 2021

on 21 March 2022


2022

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

Harm Reduction International has monitored the use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide since our first ground-breaking publication on this issue in 2007. This report, our eleventh on the subject, continues our work of providing regular updates on legislative, policy and practical developments related to the use of capital punishment for drug offences, a practice which is a clear violation of international law.
The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview 2021 found that: 1) 35 countries still retain the death penalty for drug offences 2) At least 131 people were executed for drug offences in 2021 – a 336% increase from 2020. However, due to a severe lack of transparency, if not outright censorship, this is only a partial picture. This figure likely represents only a fraction of all drug-related executions carried out globally.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Report of the Secretary General: Question of the death penalty 2021 (A/HRC/48/29)

By Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on 15 September 2021


2021

United Nations report

Public Opinion 


More details See the document

The present report is submitted pursuant to decision 18/117 and resolution 42/24 of the Human Rights Council. The report focuses on consequences arising from the lack of transparency in the application and imposition of the death penalty on the enjoyment of human rights.

  • Document type United Nations report
  • Themes list Public Opinion 

Document(s)

World Coalition Activity Report 2022

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 22 August 2023


2023

World Coalition

Trend Towards Abolition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 323 Ko ]

Document(s)

Compendium of case law of the European Court of Human Rights on the death penalty and extrajudicial execution

By Jeremy McBride, Council of Europe, on 24 April 2022


2022

International law - Regional body

Legal Representation


More details See the document

The compendium’s aim is to assist national judges, prosecutors and lawyers from the 46 member states of the Council of Europe to deal with extradition or deportation cases when there is a risk of the death penalty being imposed in third countries or of extrajudicial execution. It also aims at enabling legal professionals from countries where the death penalty still exists to develop arguments based upon the reasoning of the case law of the European Court of Human Rights. It contains relevant extracts from the Court’s case law, structured in a user-friendly way.

  • Document type International law - Regional body
  • Themes list Legal Representation

Document(s)

Abolition of the Death Penalty in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados

on 15 December 2020


2020

Lobbying

Barbados

Trend Towards Abolition


More details Download [ pdf - 2611 Ko ]

Greater Caribbean for Life has launched its educational toolkit to assist activists and organisations as they work toward abolishing the death penalty in the Greater Caribbean. The production of this toolkit forms part of GCL’s activities under its EU partnered project to educate on death penalty abolition in the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados.

The launch of the toolkit is timely as a few of these target countries recently voted against adopting the UN Moratorium on the use of the death penalty and countries that had previously chosen to abstain have now firmly voted against the resolution.

GCL members condemn the rise of violent crime in our region and express solidarity and compassion with the victims of crime, however, we reject the notion that capital punishment will act as a deterrent or foster respect for life in our communities.

It is our hope that this toolkit will assist in promoting respect for the right to life for all human beings in the Caribbean region.

  • Document type Lobbying
  • Countries list Barbados
  • Themes list Trend Towards Abolition

Document(s)

Felony Murder: An On-Ramp for Extreme Sentencing

By The Sentencing Project, Fair and Just Prosecution, on 23 March 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details See the document

Although other countries have largely rejected the felony murder doctrine, 48 states, the District of Columbia, and the federal government still use these laws. Felony murder laws compel harsh decades-long – or even life – sentences even when the individual charged did not directly cause or intend the loss of life.

This report evaluates the legal and empirical foundation, and failings, of the felony murder rule, profiles impacted individuals, and highlights recent reform efforts in 10 jurisdictions. Key findings include:

1. Felony murder laws widen the net of extreme sentencing and are counterproductive to public safety.
2. Felony murder laws have particularly adverse impacts on people of color, young people, and women.
3. Existing reforms must be expanded to achieve justice.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Zimbabwe – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – July 2021

By Eleos Justice, Monash University, on 15 July 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Zimbabwe


More details Download [ pdf - 271 Ko ]

This report addresses Zimbabwe’s compliance with its human rights obligations with respect to its use of the death penalty. The United Nations considers Zimbabwe a de facto abolitionist country. It has not carried out any executions since 2005. Courts, however, continue to sentence individuals to death, with 88 people currently on death row as of December 2020, after 8 sentences were commuted in April 2020. The new Zimbabwean Constitution (the “2013 Constitution”) has replaced the mandatory death penalty with a discretionary sentence for the crime of murder committed under aggravating circumstances. The 2013 Constitution further outlaws the imposition of the death penalty on women, men over the age of 70, and men under the age of 21 at the time the offence was committed. In its 2016 Universal Periodic Review, Zimbabwe noted all recommendations related to the death penalty, partly on the ground that Zimbabwean public opinion did not support abolition of death penalty. Since 2016, developments demonstrate a more positive attitude among the public and opinion leaders toward further reform and the abolition of death penalty.

This report focuses on various issues concerning the death penalty and related international human rights instruments, and on conditions of detention and acts of torture and ill treatment of people in detention. Specifically, this report recommends that Zimbabwe abolish the death penalty, improve detention conditions, ratify relevant human rights treaties, and increase resources dedicated to improving the justice system.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Zimbabwe

Document(s)

European Court for Human Rights cases involving the death penalty

By European Court for Human Rights Press Unit, on 24 June 2022


2022

International law - Regional body

Regional body report

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Death Row Conditions 

Fair Trial


More details See the document

“[T]he [European Court of Human Rights] in Öcalan did not exclude that Article 2 [of the European Convention on Human Rights, protecting the right to life,] had already been amended so as to remove the exception permitting the death penalty. Moreover, … the position has evolved since then. All but two of the Member States have now signed Protocol No. 13 [to the Convention, concerning the abolishment of the death penalty in all circumstances,] and all but three of the States which have signed have ratified it. These figures, together with consistent State practice in observing the moratorium on capital punishment, are strongly indicative that Article 2 has been amended so as to prohibit the death penalty in all circumstances. Against this background, the Court does not consider that the wording of the second sentence of Article 2 § 1 continues to act as a bar to its interpreting the words ‘inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment’ in Article 3 [of the Convention, prohibiting torture and inhuman or degrading treatment,] as including the death penalty …” (Al-Saadoon and Mufdhi v. the United Kingdom judgment of 2 March 2010, § 120).

  • Document type International law - Regional body / Regional body report
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment / Death Row Conditions  / Fair Trial

Document(s)

Blaming it on the past: Usages of the Middle Ages in contemporary discourses of the death penalty in England

By Death Penalty Research Unit (DPRU), University of Oxford, on 5 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

United Kingdom


More details See the document

Published in December 2023.

In popular, intellectual and political culture, the Middle Ages are intrinsically tied to violent images of public executions. To historians of the medieval period, this temporal attachment of the death penalty to a remote period is puzzling, especially since it is still widely enforced in the world today and was only relatively recently abolished in Europe. Capital punishment is not only a part of history, but a modern-day reality. Why, therefore, do we pin this punishment to the Middle Ages? This paper aims to analyse the discourses surrounding the usage of the Middle Ages in modern discussions on the death penalty, and to clarify medieval practices of capital punishment, showing how remote they are from our contemporary understanding

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list United Kingdom

Document(s)

American Death Penalty Exceptionalism, Then and Now

By Jordan Steiker, California Western International Law Journal , on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

United States


More details See the document

Published in October 2023.

The most commonly observed fact of American capital punishment is its present outlier status: the United States (U.S.) is the only developed Western democracy that retains the death penalty, and it does so not simply as a matter of law, but as a matter of practice, conducting numerous executions every year. This “exceptionalism” with respect to the death penalty is noteworthy, but focusing on present-day American retention obscures many additional aspects of American death penalty exceptionalism. This Keynote will trace several ways in which the American death penalty was an outlier at its founding and throughout its subsequent history, as well as the varied aspects of its exceptionalism today. I will conclude by predicting that U.S. exceptionalism will soon come to an end–with an “exceptional” form of death penalty abolition, traceable to the distinctive path of the American death penalty

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Death Penalty in India – Annual Statistics Report 2021

By Project 39A, on 4 February 2022


2022

Academic report

India


More details See the document

Project 39A at the National Law University, Delhi published the sixth edition of the Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report which provides an annual update on the use of the death penalty in India along with legislative and international developments on the issue. As on 31st December 2021, there were 488 prisoners on death row across India (a steep rise of nearly 21% from 2020), with Uttar Pradesh having the highest number at 86. This is the highest the death row population has been since 2004 as per the data from the Prison Statistics published by the National Crime Records Bureau.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list India

Document(s)

2021 OHCHR Report on Deterrence: High-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty

By Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), on 14 January 2022


2022

United Nations report

Public Opinion 

aresfrruzh-hant
More details See the document

The present report is submitted pursuant to Human Rights Council resolutions 26/2 and 42/24. It provides a summary of the high-level panel discussion on the question of the death penalty held on 23 February 2021 at the forty-sixth session of the Council. The panel discussion addressed the human rights violations related to the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect to whether the use of the death penalty has a deterrent effect on crime rates.

Document(s)

2020 Activity Report

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 9 September 2021


2021

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 496 Ko ]

Activity Report of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty for 2020, as adopted by its General Assembly on 18 June 2021

Document(s)

Gender and Death Penalty Glossary

By World Coalition against the Death Penalty, on 1 August 2023


2023

World Coalition

Gender

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 829 Ko ]

As part of the integration of a gender and intersectional approach into its strategy, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (World Coalition) decided to develop a glossary to identify and define the key terms of which the abolitionist movement should be aware to consider gender and other axes of intersectional discrimination at work in the capital punishment process, and more broadly to mainstream gender into their abolitionist work. This glossary was developed based on existing glossaries of World Coalition members on closely related topics, existing international definitions and standards established by international human rightsmechanisms as well as based on definitions written by international organizations specializing inwomen’s rights and LGBTQIA+ people’s rights.This glossary aims to support the abolitionist movement in recognizing the gender and intersectional biases at work in the judicial process leading to the death penalty and to contribute to the developmentof a common language around these issues, a process initiated a few years ago by members of theWorld Coalition Against such as the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide. Moreover, this glossary also aims to promote the integration of a gender approach into the internal workings o fabolitionist organizations.

Document(s)

Mobilization Kit World Day 2023

By World coalition against the death penalty, on 12 June 2023


2023

Campaigning

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 864 Ko ]

For the 21th year in a row, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is calling for local initiatives and world-wide actions that shine a spotlight on the abolition of the death penalty. The goal of this Mobilization Kit is to inform of this year’s objectives as well provide ideas of activities that boost the global abolitionist goal. This year’s World Day is dedicated to people who, during the process of being sentenced to death, or following the sentence of their death, have been victims of torture.

Document(s)

Uganda – Universal Periodic Review – Death Penalty – July 2021

on 21 July 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Uganda


More details Download [ pdf - 336 Ko ]

This report addresses Uganda’s compliance with its international human rights obligations with respect to the death penalty. The report examines and discusses the current state of the death penalty in Uganda, including (1) the broad scope of crimes that are eligible for the death penalty; (2) the lack of effective access to counsel in capital cases; (3) the occurrence of extrajudicial killings.

This report recommends that Uganda adopt a number of key steps to better align its death penalty practices with Uganda’s international human rights obligations. These steps include the following: establishing an official, de jure moratorium on the death penalty; reducing the number and scope of crimes that are eligible for the death penalty; reducing the maximum possible sentence from death to one that is fair, proportionate and in compliance with international human rights standards; and other measures

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Uganda

Document(s)

Efforts towards abolition of the death penalty: Challenges and prospects

By Death Penalty Research Unit (DPRU), University of Oxford, on 5 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

Trend Towards Abolition


More details See the document

Published in December 2023.

This paper reflects on the role of international human rights treaties in promoting universal abolition and progressive restriction of the death penalty. It suggests that over the past quarter of a century a ‘new human rights dynamic’ has aimed to generate universal acceptance that however it is administered, the death penalty violates the human rights of all citizens exposed to it. Nevertheless, defences of capital punishment based on principles of national sovereignty are engrained in some parts of the world, particularly in Asia and the Middle East. The human rights project struggles to make inroads into such jurisdictions where political will is opposed to abolition, and trenchant protection of sovereignty threatens the very universality of these rights.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Themes list Trend Towards Abolition

Document(s)

Migratory dependency and the death penalty: Foreign nationals facing capital punishment in the Gulf

By Lucy Harry, Carolyn Hoyle , and Jocelyn Hutton Death Penalty Research Unit, Centre for Criminology, University of Oxford, on 30 January 2024


2024

Academic Article

Jordan

Kuwait

Lebanon

Qatar

Saudi Arabia

United Arab Emirates


More details See the document

Published on July 2, 2023

This article focuses on the cases of 664 foreign nationals, the majority of whom are migrant workers, under sentence of death across the Gulf states (including Jordan and Lebanon) between 2016 and 2021. The features of these cases suggest that they are inextricably linked to migrant workers’ dependency under the kafala system, with examples of migrants duped into smuggling drugs across the border by their migrant broker, and once in country, accounts of violent altercations due to disputes about exit visas, and in the case of migrant domestic workers, self-defence against sexual violence. Engaging with the burgeoning literature on immigration, exploitation and criminalisation, as well as scholarship on capital punishment, this article will explore the multiple and unique layers of dependency fostered by the kafala system that place migrant workers at higher risk of the death penalty in these Gulf jurisdictions.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list Jordan / Kuwait / Lebanon / Qatar / Saudi Arabia / United Arab Emirates

Document(s)

2021 World Day Report

on 10 June 2022


2022

World Coalition

Women

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 4154 Ko ]

On 10 October 2021, the World Coalition and abolitionists around the world celebrated the 19th World Day Against the Death Penalty (‘World Day’). Every year on World Day, the World Coalition highlights one problematic aspect of the Death Penalty. In 2021, the World Day explored the theme “Women sentenced to death, an invisible reality” to raise awareness on how the treatment of gender and gender-based inequalities create particularly precarious conditions for women sentenced to capital punishment. This report presents the activities organised for the 19th World Day and the media coverage it received.

Document(s)

How to Insert Gender issues in Abolitionist Advocacy?

By World Coalition against the Death Penalty, on 1 August 2023


2023

Lobbying

Gender

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 710 Ko ]

This tool was developed by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty (World Coalition) in partnership with the Advocates for Human Rights (TAHR), after noting the limited integration of gender issues into the abolitionist advocacy of the World Coalition’s member organizations. This tool has also been edited and enrichened by the World Coalition’s Gender Working Group.
As part of the “Leave No Woman Behind on Death Row” project, this tool aims to assist World Coalition members and partners in implementing gender-sensitive abolitionist advocacy.
In this document, intended to be a practical tool, guidance is provided on how to incorporate gender-specific recommendations into abolitionist advocacy with human rights bodies. This tool focuses recommendations made by civil society organizations (CSOs) to international and regional human rights bodies, intended to encourage national authorities to act in a certain way. Human rights mechanisms and bodies serve as crucial actors in legitimizing and supporting CSOs work on the ground. A recommendation made by a CSO can, in turn, be accepted by a human rights special mechanism and be transformed into an official recommendation to the State. From there, CSOs can continue to use this official recommendation in their national advocacy to strengthen their claim and position, fulfilling a virtuous circle in advocacy work.
In this document, the recommendations made are done pending full abolition of the death penalty. They are seen as transitional steps towards full abolition of the death penalty in law and in practice.
This tool is divided into two sections. The first part focuses on how to increase visibility of the discrimination faced by women in the judicial process leading to the death penalty. The second part focuses on the discrimination faced by LGBTQIA+ people during the same judicial process. In both sections, definitions are provided as well as background information in order to understand the issues at stake in each of the themes.

Document(s)

Detailed Factsheet – World Day 2022

By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 4 July 2022


2022

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 893 Ko ]

Detailed factsheet on torture and the death penalty, for the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty (2022).

Document(s)

Mobilization Kit World Day 2022

By the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 9 June 2022


2022

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 892 Ko ]

For the 20th year in a row, the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty is calling for local initiatives and world-wide actions that shine a spotlight on the abolition of the death penalty. The goal of this Mobilization Kit is to inform of this year’s objectives as well provide ideas of activities that boost the global abolitionist goal. This year’s World Day is dedicated to people who, during the process of being sentenced to death, or following the sentence of their death, have been victims of torture.

Document(s)

Death by Design: Part 1

By The Wren Collective , on 23 January 2024


2024

NGO report

Legal Representation

United States


More details See the document

Published in December 2023.

In “Death by Design” Parts 1 and 2, Wren investigated the state of court-appointed capital representation in Harris County—the death penalty capital of the world.The first report delves into the failings of the lawyers in capital cases.

Wren recommends a total overhaul to the system of capital representation for poor defendants in Harris County, with either the public defender absorbing those cases or the judges establishing a new, freestanding capital public defender that is independent from judicial oversight.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Legal Representation

Document(s)

World Psychiatric Association position statement mental health and the death penalty

By World Psychiatric Association, on 30 November 2023


2023

Arguments against the death penalty

Fair Trial

Intellectual Disability

zh-hant
More details See the document

International law and laws of various countries prohibit the imposition of the death penalty on persons
with mental illness or developmental and intellectual disabilities due to the special barriers faced by
them in defending themselves; their limited moral culpability; and their diminished ability to
understand the nature and reason for their execution. However, due to lack of accommodations in
criminal proceedings and legal safeguards, persons with mental illness, developmental and intellectual
disabilities are at a greater risk of being sentenced to death and having their fair trial rights denied.

Authors:
Maitreyi Misra, Director (Mental Health and Criminal Justice), Project 39A, National Law University
Delhi.
Namrata Sinha, Research Associate (Mental Health and Criminal Justice), Project 39A, National Law
University Delhi.
Neeraj Gill, Professor, Health Research Institute, University of Canberra and Griffith University,
School of Medicine, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.
Soumitra Pathare, Consultant Psychiatrist, Director, Centre for Mental Health Law and Policy, ILS
Law College, Pune.
Afzal Javed, President, World Psychiatric Association.

Document(s)

TESTIMONIES- 21 st World Day Against the Death Penalty

on 10 July 2023


2023

Campaigning

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 759 Ko ]

This document has been compiled by the Secretariat of the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty with substantial aid from member organizations, including Abdorrahman Boroumand Center, Amnesty International, Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide, Free Mumia ! French Support Group (Collectif français “Libérons Mumia !”), German Coalition Against the Death Penalty, Justice Project Pakistan, […]

Document(s)

The Physician in the Execution Chamber: No Such Thing as the Normal Pain of Dying

By Joel Zivot, California Western International Law Journal , on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

United States


More details See the document

Published in October 2023.

For capital punishment to be lawful in the United States of America, it must occur without cruelty, a requirement of the traditional reading of the Eighth Amendment. There has never been a consensus on what form of execution is cruel, although some historic practices are shockingly barbaric to modern sensibilities— I think of the “draw and quarter” technique. The family of the murdered victim may fairly argue that the murderous behavior should be the minimum degree of cruelty meted out. But western countries eschew that standard and seek moderate forms, partly to deter by punishment and partly as a forfeit of the murderer’s life for the victim’s life when execution is allowed in that state. Certainly, there is substantial support for continuation of execution in states that allow it. The judges must be respectful of that, but still, they must respect the 8th amendment. At present, the prevalent method of execution in the United States is “lethal injection” using injectable medicines in very high doses that are repurposed to kill the prisoner. Because it is impossible to ask an executed individual about the cruelty experienced during their own death, the state instead relies on the empathy of witnesses to gauge the cruelty of a prisoner’s execution. Lethal injection was expected to be a bloodless execution and aimed to eliminate the visible appearance of cruelty, sometimes through the use of a paralytic.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

The death penalty and the prohibition of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

on 21 August 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

fr
More details See the document

The signatory organizations are convinced that the death penalty is incompatible with the prohibition of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which is a peremptory norm of international law (jus cogens) and should thus be abolished. The death penalty is only tolerated by international law and standards to the extent that it may only be imposed for the most serious crimes and applied in a way that causes the least possible suffering. However, the signatory organizations believe that from the sentencing to the execution, the death penalty inevitably causes physical harm and psychological suffering amounting to torture or ill-treatments.

The present position paper documents the extent to which international and regional organisation have already recognised a violation of the absolution prohibitionof torture in the application and imposition of the death penalty.

Document(s)

2022 World Day Report

By World coalition against the death penalty, on 12 June 2023


2023

Campaigning

World Coalition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 1557 Ko ]

On 10 October 2022, the World Coalition and abolitionists around the world celebrated the 20th World Day Against the Death Penalty (‘World Day’). Every year on World Day, the World Coalition highlights one problematic aspect of the Death Penalty.

Document(s)

Malawi – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – January 2022

on 31 January 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Malawi

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 311 Ko ]

Detention conditions for women in Malawi are crowded, and women in prisons are not given adequate food and nutrition. Specifically, many prisons only serve people with one meal a day, often consisting of a maize meal (nsima) and peas or beans. Overcrowded conditions are a particular concern during the COVID-19 pandemic, when risk of transmission of the disease is high. Prison conditions in Malawi amount to inhuman and degrading treatment.

Women in death penalty proceedings in Malawi lack access to qualified legal representation. Defense advocates in Malawi who are assigned to capital cases often lack relevant experience. In at least one case, a lawyer failed to raise the complete defense of self-defense in representing a woman who killed her husband as a result of a long history of domestic abuse. Had the defense been raised, it is possible that the woman would not have been sentenced to death. Moreover, women from poor and marginalized communities are disproportionately affected by the death penalty because when they are accused of crimes, they are often unable to understand the charges against them because they are illiterate and cannot read the complaint against them. They are also unable to retain private counsel.

Women who face extensive gender-based violence are disproportionately affected by the death penalty in Malawi, including those who seek to protect themselves against their abusers. Long histories of gender-based violence can result in complex trauma and can exacerbate psycho-social or intellectual disabilities, yet sentencing courts fail to take these nefarious effects into account as factors in mitigation of a death sentence.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Malawi
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

The Death Penalty For Drug Offences: Global Overview 2023

By Harm Reduction International, on 28 March 2024


2024

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

At the end of 2023, 34 countries retained the death for drug offences. In July 2023 Pakistan took the landmark decision to remove the death penalty from the list of punishments that can be imposed for certain violations of its Control of Narcotics Substances Act. This year also saw notable progress in Malaysia, which abolished the mandatory death penalty for all offences, including drug-related ones. This reform may impact the lives of over 700 people on death row for drug offences and bring the country one step closer to total abolition of capital punishment. In stark contrast to these positive developments is the record-high number of drug-related executions in 2023 at least 467. Of those executed, at least 59 people belonged to ethnic minority groups (in Iran and in Singapore), 13 individuals were foreign nationals, and six were women. These figures confirm that these groups are uniquely vulnerable to capital punishment as a tool of drug control. Despite not accounting for the dozens, if not hundreds, of executions believed to have taken place in China, Vietnam, and North Korea, the 467 executions that took place in 2023 represent a 44% increase from 2022.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

The Use of the Death Penalty as a Bargaining Chip in Innocence Cases

By Claudia I. Salinas, California Western International Law Journal, on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

United States


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

While 70% of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty, also known as capital punishment, much of the United States continues to use it in its criminal legal proceedings.According to the Death Penalty Information Center, at least 190 people were exonerated prior to their fated execution date after being wrongly convicted and sentenced to death in the United States. There is no way to tell how many of the 1,562 people, who have been executed in the United States, were actually innocent. As there are wrongful convictions still happening today, it is no surprise that most countries consider the death penalty a human rights issue.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

World Coalition Strategic Plan 2023-2027

By World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, on 22 August 2023


2023

World Coalition

Trend Towards Abolition

fr
More details Download [ pdf - 455 Ko ]

Document(s)

The Mercy Workers, Death Penalty Mitigation Specialists

By Maurice Chammah, The Marshall Project, on 2 March 2023


2023

Article

Legal Representation

United States


More details See the document

For three decades, a little-known group of “mitigation specialists” has helped save death-penalty defendants in the USA by documenting their childhood traumas. A rare look inside one case.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Legal Representation

Document(s)

Singapore’s death penalty for drug trafficking: What the research says and doesn’t

By Academia SG - Promoting Scorlorahsip Of/For/By Singapore, on 24 January 2024


2024

Academic report

Drug Offenses

Singapore


More details See the document

Published on October 7, 2023.

Of all retentionist countries, Singapore seems to be the most vocal about the need to execute individuals as a form of criminal punishment. MAI SATO (Monash University) reviews studies conducted or commissioned by Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs that claim public backing for and the effectiveness of the death penalty in managing drug trafficking. Sato finds that these studies provide far weaker evidence for using the death penalty for drug trafficking than their authors and officials citing them claim.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Singapore
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Roper and Race: the Nature and Effects of Death Penalty Exclusions for Juveniles and the “Late Adolescent Class”

By Craig Haney, Frank R. Baumgartner and Karen Steele, on 20 October 2022


2022

Academic report

United States


More details See the document

In Roper v. Simmons (2005), the US Supreme Court raised the minimum age at which someone could be subjected to capital punishment, ruling that no one under the age of 18 at the time of their crime could be sentenced to death. The present article discusses the legal context and rationale by which the Court established the current age-based limit on death penalty eligibility as well as the scientific basis for a recent American Psychological Association Resolution that recommended extending that limit to include members of the “late adolescent class” (i.e., persons from 18 to 20 years old). In addition, we present new data that address the little-discussed but important racial/ethnic implications of these age-based limits to capital punishment, both for the already established Roper exclusion and the APA-proposed exclusion for the late adolescent class. In fact, a much higher percentage of persons in the late adolescent class who were sentenced to death in the post-Roper era were non-White, suggesting that their age-based exclusion would help to remedy this problematic pattern.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

State-Sanctioned Killing of Sexual Minorities: Looking Beyond the Death Penalty

By Mai Sato, Christopher Alexander - Eleos Justice and Capital Punishment Justice Project, Monash University, on 10 August 2021


2021

Academic report

Australia

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment


More details See the document

This report examines the extent to which states sanction the killing of sexual minorities. It looks beyond those countries that impose the death penalty for same-sex intimacy to the far greater number of countries in which state actors commission, condone, endorse and enable such killings.
He argues that the state-sanctioned killing of sexual minorities is often perpetrated well beyond the boundaries of the law, and even in countries that do not criminalise such conduct.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Australia
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Kenya – Committee Against Torture – Death Penalty – March 2022

on 18 March 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment


More details Download [ pdf - 393 Ko ]

Kenya has not carried out any executions since the late 1980s. Nonetheless, Kenya continues to hand down the death penalty as a sentence in criminal cases. Accordingly, this report recommends that the Committee Against Torture recommend that Kenya formally abolish the death penalty, commute the sentences of all persons on death row, and revise laws to remove capital punishment from the list of principal sentences. Kenya should further take steps to prohibit introduction of evidence obtained through torture and ill-treatment in criminal proceedings and to ensure that all persons at risk of being sentenced to death have access to well-qualified legal counsel with adequate funding for a thorough pre-trial investigation. Kenya should ensure that no person is removed to a country where they may be at risk of being sentenced to death, and should take concrete steps to ensure that conditions of detention for persons under sentence of death comply with the Nelson Mandela Rules.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Maldives – Committee Against Torture (LOIPR) – Death Penalty – June 2022

By The Maldivian Democracy Network (MDN) , on 21 July 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Maldives


More details Download [ pdf - 1443 Ko ]

This report addresses the Maldives’ compliance with its human rights obligations with respect to the death penalty. Despite its long-standing, de facto moratorium on executions, the Maldives sentenced two people to death in 2019, after sentencing no one to death in 2018.[1] At the end of 2019, there were 19 people on death row in the Maldives – three of whom had exhausted their appeals and five of whom were juveniles when the crime was committed.[2] The Maldives sentenced another individual to death in 2022, which represented the first time the country sentenced a foreign national to death.[3] The continued use of the death penalty in sentencing is particularly concerning given evidence of due process violations, including the use of torture to obtain confessions, the lack of effective and accessible complaint mechanisms for detained individuals, the lack of an independent judiciary, and the use of the death penalty as a sentence for crimes committed by juveniles.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Maldives
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Uganda – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – January 2022

on 12 January 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Uganda

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 243 Ko ]

This report addresses Uganda’s compliance with its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women with respect to the death penalty. The report examines and discusses Ugandan death penalty laws and cases where women are sentenced to death row in Uganda, primarily for murder.

This report recommends that Uganda adopt a number of key recommendations to better align its death penalty practices with Uganda’s obligations to women under the Convention. These steps, among other things, include: (1) abolishing the death penalty and in the interim, limiting the death penalty to only the most serious crimes of intentional killing of another human; (2) ensuring proper gender-sensitive training in the judicial system and protecting women in conflict with the law when gender-based violence is involved; (3) developing and implementing programs to prevent gender-based violence and discrimination; and (4) ensuring fair access to counsel to women sentenced to death or at risk of being sentenced to death.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Uganda
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

Death by Design: Part 2

By The Wren Collective, on 23 January 2024


2024

NGO report

Legal Representation

United States


More details See the document

Published in December 2023.

In “Death by Design” Parts 1 and 2, Wren investigated the state of court-appointed capital representation in Harris County—the death penalty capital of the world. The second report examines why that poor representation has thrived, and the ways that the judges overseeing those cases have enabled it to continue that way.

Wren recommends a total overhaul to the system of capital representation for poor defendants in Harris County, with either the public defender absorbing those cases or the judges establishing a new, freestanding capital public defender that is independent from judicial oversight.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Legal Representation

Document(s)

The Maldives – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – September 2021

on 20 September 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Maldives


More details Download [ pdf - 263 Ko ]

The Maldives’ continued use of the death penalty undermines government efforts and commitments to end gender-based discrimination. The death penalty invites discriminatory sentences against women for adultery and other crimes of sexual immorality, as well as for acting as accomplices to murder committed by male counterparts. Capital punishment promotes negative stereotypes about women and reinforces discriminatory gender roles. The possibility of facing the death penalty also discourages human rights defenders from civic engagement on a number of human rights issues, including women’s human rights.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Maldives

Document(s)

The politics of capital punishment for foreign nationals in Iran

By Death Penalty Research Unit (DPRU), University of Oxford, on 5 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

Iran (Islamic Republic of)


More details See the document

Published in December 2023.

This paper seeks to map the political economy of capital punishment in Iran, in particular in relation to dual and foreign nationals, and examines its external and internal functions. The external functions include suppressing the ‘cultural threat’ of cross-border drug trafficking, achieving more power in sanctions negotiations, seeking reciprocal prisoner swaps or demanding recompense for outstanding multinational debt. The internal functions include quashing protests against the regime, supressing separatist movements, or even just ‘otherness’. It is evident that those facing disadvantage across foreign national and intersectional lines face the death penalty disproportionately. In addition, although only representing a fraction of the overall population of death row, the arbitrary detention of dual nationals has a disproportionate political function.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Document(s)

Death in the time of Covid-19: Efforts to restore the death penalty in the Philippines

By Jose M.Jose and Maria Corazon A.De Ungria, on 10 August 2021


2021

Academic report

Drug Offenses

Philippines


More details See the document

The Philippine Congress recently passed a bill amending the Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 and reimposing the penalty of life imprisonment to death for specific-drug related offenses. House Bill No. 7814 also allows the presumption of guilt in certain drug-related crimes unless otherwise proven, thereby overturning the long-standing constitutional presumption of innocence.

The bill has been sent to the Senate for its concurrence and could only be several steps away before being signed into law by President Rodrigo R. Duterte. This paper discusses the ramifications of the new bill and the questioned timeliness of its passage when the country continues to have a large and overcrowded prison population and a significant number of deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 in Southeast Asia.

The government’s lapses in following the 2021 national vaccination plan became apparent in the 31 March 2021 assessment made by the congressional health panel on the government’s response to the pandemic.

From the authors’ perspective, the urgency of using the country’s limited resources to help medical frontliners and local government units prevent further infections and save lives should have outweighed the efforts exerted to pass a law that legalized the death penalty for the third time in the Philippines.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Philippines
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Investigating Attitudes to the Death Penalty in Indonesia Part One – Opinion Formers: An Appetite for Change

By Carolyn Hoyle - The Death Penalty Project, in partnership with LBH Masyarakat and the University of Indonesia, on 28 June 2021


2021

NGO report

Drug Offenses

Indonesia

Public Opinion 


More details See the document

In 2019-20, The Death Penalty Project, in partnership with LBH Masyarakat and the University of Indonesia, commissioned Professor Carolyn Hoyle, of The Death Penalty Research Unit at the University of Oxford to conduct research investigating attitudes towards the death penalty in Indonesia.
The findings have been presented in a two-part report; the first details the findings of a nuanced public survey and the second details the findings of interviews conducted with opinion formers.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Indonesia
  • Themes list Drug Offenses / Public Opinion 

Document(s)

More Indicators of the Falling Support for the Death Penalty

By Talia Roitberg Harmon and Michael L. Radelet, California Western International Law Journal , on 1 February 2024


2024

Academic Article

United States


More details See the document

Published on October 12, 2023.

In the seminal Furman v. Georgia case from 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court (in effect) invalidated all death penalty statutes then inforce in American jurisdictions. After many states went back to their legislative drawing boards, some of the revised statutes were approved by the Court in 1976. At that time, Gallup found that 66 percent of the American public supported the death penalty, while 26 percent stood opposed. While support grew to 80 percent in 1994, a recent Gallup Poll from October 2022 shows that this figure has dropped to 55 percent. Recently, only 36 percent of Americans still support the death penalty given the alternative punishment of life imprisonment.

  • Document type Academic Article
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Estimating the effect of death penalty moratoriums on homicide rates using the synthetic control method

By Stephen N. Oliphant, on 18 September 2022


2022

Academic report

Moratorium

United States


More details See the document

Research examining death penalty deterrence has been characterized as inconclusive and uninformative. The present analysis heeds a recommendation from prior research to examine single-state changes in death penalty policy using the synthetic control method. Data from the years 1979–2019 were used to construct synthetic controls and estimate the effects of death penalty moratoriums on homicide rates in Illinois, New Jersey, Washington, and Pennsylvania. Moratoriums on capital punishment resulted in nonsignificant homicide reductions in all four states.

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Moratorium

Document(s)

Cameroon – Committee to Eliminate Racial Discrimination – Death Penalty – March 2020

By RACOPEM, ACAT Cameroun, on 21 March 2020


2020

NGO report

World Coalition

Cameroon


More details Download [ pdf - 1898 Ko ]

This report addresses Cameroon’s compliance with human rights obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, particularly with respect to the imposition of the death penalty against Anglophone Cameroonians.

By way of background, the Anglophone crisis in Cameroon began in 2016 as peaceful protests by lawyers and teachers demanding linguistic reforms but rapidly escalated into a war of secession that has killed thousands of people and displaced over one million.

The Cameroonian Criminal Code adopted in 2016 allows for the death penalty, including for vaguely defined terrorism-related offences. In this regard, the Anti-Terrorism Law of 2014 has been used to prosecute Anglophone human rights activists before military courts for acts of terrorism, secession, rebellion, and spreading false news, with the death penalty as a potential sentence in such cases.

While Cameroon ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1984, it has yet to ratify its Second Optional Protocol aiming at the abolition of the death penalty (ICCPR-OP2). Although no execution has taken place in Cameroon since 1997, civil society organizations estimate that 220 people currently are under sentence of death in Cameroon.

As discussed below, Cameroon fails to uphold its obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination because its domestic law and institutional and political framework do not sufficiently protect Anglophones facing the death penalty.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Cameroon

Document(s)

Lebanon – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty

on 12 January 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Lebanon

Women


More details Download [ pdf - 1599 Ko ]

This report addresses Lebanon’s compliance with human rights obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women regarding its use of the death penalty.

Lebanon has not abolished the death penalty or established a de jure moratorium on the death penalty. The legal system does not protect women in conflict with the law from discrimination on the basis of sex or gender. Nor does it limit capital offenses to the “most serious” crimes.

Women migrant domestic workers appear to be at an elevated risk of being sentenced to death. Indeed, all three women known to be on death row in Lebanon are Sri Lankan migrant domestic workers. Such women face heightened obstacles to realizing their right to a fair trial. Moreover, there is no evidence that sentencing authorities take into account a woman’s history of abuse when determining an appropriate sentence. Finally, women under sentence of death face degrading conditions of detention.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Lebanon
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

Tunisia – Committee Against Torture (LOIPR) – Death Penalty – June 2022

on 21 July 2022


2022

NGO report

World Coalition

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Tunisia


More details See the document

Tunisia carried out its last execution in 1991, over 30 years ago. Despite this de facto moratorium on executions, Tunisian courts continue to sentence people to death. Courts sentence people to death every year for a variety of crimes, especially terrorism. The current administration is undoing many of the positive changes to the Tunisian judicial system brought about by the 2011 revolution, and public opinion is divided over whether to move forward with abolition, maintain the status quo, or even resume executions, a course of action that some politicians and officials within the government support. Tunisia continues to support the UN resolutions aiming to establish a global moratorium on executions but has refused to ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

This report recommends that Tunisia maintain its commitment to the UN moratorium and move to ratify the Second Optional Protocol, while also working to restore the independence of its judiciary and reducing the total number of crimes punishable by death in the short term. In the long-term Tunisia should completely and unconditionally abolish the death penalty.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Tunisia
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Yemen – Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – Death Penalty – September 2021

on 20 September 2021


2021

NGO report

World Coalition

Women

Yemen


More details Download [ pdf - 272 Ko ]

Women in conflict with the law in Yemen are at risk of experiencing gender-based discrimination within the legal system and while detained. Such discrimination is particularly acute when women are at risk of being sentenced to death. For example, in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen, women are in danger of being sentenced to death for “spying,” often based primarily on the conduct of their male family members. In parts of the country controlled by the internationally recognized Government of Yemen, women accused of capital offenses are denied legal aid to mount a successful defense. And because of the mandatory nature of the death penalty for crimes such as murder, courts do not take into account an accused woman’s experiences of gender-based violence that may have motivated her actions. Women are also often financially unable to gather sufficient resources to pay “blood money” to victims’ families. Detention conditions for women, particularly in Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen, amount to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment and in some cases prison authorities torture women detainees.

Because of continued internal conflict in Yemen, there is limited official data regarding the number of women currently sentenced to death. For the same reason, there is only limited information regarding detention conditions of women sentenced to death.

  • Document type NGO report / World Coalition
  • Countries list Yemen
  • Themes list Women

Document(s)

‘Upholding the Cause of Civilization’: The Australian Death Penalty in War and Colonialism

By Mark Finnane, on 1 September 2022


2022

Academic report

Australia


More details See the document

The abolition of the death penalty in Queensland in 1922 was the first in Australian jurisdictions, and the first in the British Empire. However, the legacy of the Queensland death penalty lingered in Australian colonial territories. This article considers a variety of practices in which the death penalty was addressed by Australian decision-makers during the first half of the 20th century. These include the exemption of Australian soldiers from execution in World War I, use of the death penalty in colonial Papua and the Mandate Territory of New Guinea, hanging as a weapon of war in the colonial territories, and the retrieval of the death penalty for the punishment of war crimes. In these histories, we see not only that the Queensland death penalty lived on in other contexts but also that ideological and political preferences for abolition remained vulnerable to the sway of other historical forces of war and security.
This article was first pubished in Crime Justice Journal: https://www.crimejusticejournal.com/issue/view/119

  • Document type Academic report
  • Countries list Australia

Document(s)

Somebody’s Child: Amid the Lingering Trauma of Trump’s Executions, a New Project Brings Families to Federal Death Row

By The Intercept, on 15 February 2024


2024

Article

United States


More details See the document

Published on February 11, 2024.

In 2002, Ra’id was arrested alongside several other suspects following a botched bank robbery that left two people dead and another paralyzed. His co-defendants pointed to him as the mastermind, which Ra’id adamantly denied. “I did not take part in that atrocity,” he told the court following his trial. “I did not shoot and kill anyone.”

Newson attended his father’s sentencing hearing, along with his mother, Jeannie Gipson-Newson. A death sentence would be “devastating to my child,” she remembered testifying. But it felt futile. The jurors seemed to have made up their minds. In 2004, Ra’id was sentenced to die.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States