In 1994, the United States signed the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.  The treaty, which has now been ratified or signed by 176 nations, prohibits the imposition of physical or psychological abuse on people in detention. Although it does not explicitly prohibit the death penalty, the treaty prohibits the intentional infliction of pain. Since 1976, however, more than 20 executions in the United States have resulted in protracted, painful or shocking errors, such as an inmate`s head catching fire or a long and agonizing search for a vein suitable for lethal injection. Accidents aside, our methods of execution – lethal injection, electric shock, firing squad, gas chamber and hanging – can be inherently painful. The CAT also prohibits the infliction of pain and suffering “on the basis of discrimination” , but racial inequality is endemic on our death row. It does not deter crime. Countries that carry out executions often invoke the death penalty to deter people from committing crimes. This claim has been repeatedly discredited, and there is no evidence that the death penalty is more effective in reducing crime than life imprisonment. Q: If the execution is unacceptable, what is the alternative? A: NEUTRALIZATION. Convicted murderers can be sentenced to life in prison, as in many countries and states that have abolished the death penalty. Most state laws allow life sentences for murder, which severely limits or eliminates the possibility of parole.
Today, 37 states allow juries to sentence defendants to life in prison without the possibility of parole instead of the death penalty. When Amnesty International began its work in 1977, only 16 countries had completely abolished the death penalty. Today, that number has risen to 106, more than half of the world`s countries. More than two-thirds are abolitionist in law or practice. It is often used in distorted justice systems. In many cases registered by Amnesty International, people have been executed after being convicted after grossly unfair trials, on the basis of evidence obtained under torture and without adequate representation by a lawyer. In some countries, the death penalty is imposed as a mandatory sentence for certain crimes, meaning that judges are not able to take into account the circumstances of the crime or the accused before pronouncing the verdict. Ein Artikel vom 4. February 2019 in the criminal justice bulletin, The Appeal, discusses the case of Demetrius Howard, a California prisoner who was sentenced to death for a crime in which he did not kill anyone. Howar. Evidence obtained through the Capital Jury Project showed that juries in capital trials generally do not understand the judge`s instructions on laws governing the choice between the death penalty and life imprisonment.
Even when they understand, juries often refuse to be guided by the law. “Legal understanding of the jury. is poor. The effect [of this relative lack of understanding of the law]. is to reduce the likelihood that defendants facing the death penalty will benefit from the safeguards against arbitrariness inherent in the. The law. But in the four years since the Furman decision, several hundred people have been sentenced to death under the state`s new death penalty laws, written to guide jurors in sentencing. These laws prescribe a two-stage trial in which the jury first determines guilt or innocence and then decides on imprisonment or death in light of aggravating or mitigating circumstances.
Even when crimes are planned, the criminal usually focuses on avoiding exposure, arrest, and conviction. The threat of punishment, even the heaviest, will not deter those who expect to escape discovery and arrest. It is impossible to imagine how the threat of punishment could prevent a crime that is not premeditated. Moreover, the death penalty is a senseless threat to political terrorists like Timothy McVeigh because they generally act in the name of an ideology that honors their martyrs.