Tuesday, October 10, 2006

World Day against the Death Penalty

10th October 2006, marks the fourth anniversary of World Day against the Death Penalty. This day was established by the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty, of which Amnesty International is a member. Pro-death penalty activists claim that the death penalty serves as a deterrent. However, according to Amnesty International, a September 2000 New York Times survey found that during the last 20 years, the homicide rate in states with the death penalty has been 48 to 101 percent higher than in states without the death penalty. Something else that jumped out at me was the fact, as AI states, that 97% of those awarded the death penalty worldwide come from the U.S., China, Iran and Vietnam.
This summer I interned with Amnesty International back home in New Delhi, and worked with them on their anti-death penalty campaign. AI says that 121 nations worldwide have abolished the death penalty in one form or the other and that 86 out of these nations have abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Philippines in the latest addition to this list. However, both India and the United States retain the death penalty. I carried out extensive research on the use of the death penalty in India and found that while the government claims that it has executed 55 people since independence in 1947, the real figure is close to 1400. I found this information by collating lists from different prisons across the nations, spending time with death row convicts and meeting with members of the Law Commission. Something to think about...

3 comments:

morgan marks said...

I think it would be interesting to see the many viewpoints of the class - since the country we live in is one of the few that remains in favor of capital punishment for all crimes committed. I would want to see the death penalty abolished - I agree with the reasons that it goes against the right to life, and the due process standards, but more simply: I would rather see a convicted criminal put behind bars, for the rest of their life - because to me, death is the easy way out - and at least if they were still alive, someone could still have the chance to prove them innocent. Who are we to say an eye for an eye is right and moral? Yet, I do not agree with the prison system that is in place - where prisoners are treated better than homeless people, but that's a whole different story...

Mad Max said...

Let me take a wild guess here. You people who are against the death penalty are pro abortion. How ironic is that. You squirm at the thought of sending a murderous piece of fecal matter to ride the big lighting bolt and yet you have no problem in sending an unborn fetus to the human food processor. Good God you need a lesson in ethics! If we have no death penalty what consequinces are left for offenders? Its like giving them the green lihgt to kill.

I am strongly for the death penalty. ITs not racist or classist. Its putting to death a person who does not have the right to live.

When you take another human beings life(intentionally without cause, and it is proved without doubt) you loose all of your rights. You are nothing more than a blood thirsty beast.

The death penalty should be reserved for only the worst offenders(i.e. Timothy Mcvaeh). The ideal of the People being against the death penalty is absurd to me.

morgan marks said...

Everyone has the right to life, the right for a chance - some people make big mistakes, BIG mistakes - should they be forgiven, given a second chance... or should they pay, with their own life? mad max: So, the women who choose to get abortions, what should be done with them? as for your questions, the consequences instead of the death penalty would be life in prison... life behind bars... locked in a cell, with no chance of getting out... dying there... thats not enough consequence for you? and who are you to say whether a person has the right to live or not ... who does have that say? ...you make it sound like only blood thirsty killers, the ones who have full intent and are proven guilty through due process are the ones that should get the death penalty... those aren't the only people who get it - what about the others?