The Global Debate on the Death Penalty

By Sandra Babcock / Human Rights Magazine, on 1 January 2007

Many human rights organizations and intergovernmental organizations, such as the European Union, see the death penalty as one of the most pressing human rights issues of our time and have taken an active role in persuading countries to halt executions. The debate over capital punishment in the United States—be it in the courts, in state legislatures, or on nationally televised talk shows—is always fraught with emotion. The themes have changed little over the last two or three hundred years. Does it deter crime? If not, is it necessary to satisfy society’s desire for retribution against those who commit unspeakably violent crimes? Is it worth the cost? Are murderers capable of redemption? Should states take the lives of their own citizens? Are current methods of execution humane? Is there too great a risk of executing the innocent?

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Deterrence ,