DEATH PENALTY; INHUMAN, CRUEL, DEGRADING!

Howdy, so in our last blog we explored the issue of ‘Death Penalty’ especially in Uganda, and also put emphasis on how children are its unseen victims…under the title ‘CHILDREN:  UNSEEN VICTIMS OF THE DEATH PENALTY’ Check HERE to read the blog.

We further emphasized that “On 10th October (2019) – this Thursday, the World Coalition Against Death Penalty along with other abolitionist Organisations around the world   are yet to celebrate the 17th World Day Against Death Penalty, – coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the convention on the Rights of the Child, which this year is dedicated to children whose parents have been sentenced to death or executed.  Under the theme [Children: Unseen Victims of The Death Penalty]”

In today’s blog, let’s explore…

Guilty: Image Source – rebelcircus.com

1. INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS STANDARDS

When a legal decision is made to execute a parent, that decision impacts their children. In international human rights law, it is a well-established principle that the best interest of the child should be a paramount consideration in any decision that impacts a child. It is, therefore, necessary to consider how a parent’s death sentence will impact the child and to take this into account when deciding on sentencing, commutation, and pardon. 

In 2013, the UN Human Rights Council adopted resolution 24/11, in which it “[a]acknowledges the negative impact of a parent’s death sentence and his or her execution on his or her children and urges States to provide those children with the protection and assistance they may require.”

And in 2018, the Human Rights Committee’s general comment No.36 made an explicit recommendation for States not to execute parents of young and dependent children: “States parties […] should […] refrain from executing parents to very young or dependent children.”

2. TEN REASONS TO END PENALTY

  • No state should have the power to take a person’s life
  • It’s Irrevocable 

No justice system is safe from judicial error and innocent people are likely to be sentenced to death.

  • It’s inefficient and does not make society safer.

It has never been conclusively shown that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than life imprisonment.

  • It is unfair.

The death penalty is discriminatory and is often used disproportionately against people who are poor, people with intellectual or psychosocial disabilities, and members of racial and ethnic minority groups. In some places, the imposition of the death penalty is used to target groups based on sexual orientation, gender identity, political opinion, or religion.

  • Not all murder victims’ families want the death penalty.

A large and growing number of victims’ families worldwide reject the death penalty and are speaking out against it, saying it does not bring back or honor their murdered family member, does not heal the pain of the murder, and violates their ethical and religious beliefs.

  • It creates more pain,

particularly for the relatives of the person sentenced to death, including children, who will be subjected to the violence of forced mourning.

  • It is inhumane, cruel, and degrading.

Conditions on death row and the anguish of facing execution inflict extreme psychological suffering, and execution is a physical and mental assault.

  • It is applied overwhelmingly in violation of international standards.

It breaches the principles of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to life and that no one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. On seven occasions, the United Nations General Assembly has called for the establishment of a moratorium on the use of the death penalty. (Resolutions 62/149 in 2007, 63/168 in 2008, 65/206 in 2010, 67/176 in 2012, 69/186 in 2014, 71/187 in 2016 and 73/175 in 2018).

  1. It is counterproductive,

because by instituting the killing of a human being as a criminal solution, the death penalty endorses the idea of murder more than it fights it.

  • It denies any possibility of rehabilitation.

3. 10 Things you can do to end the death penalty

  • Organize a demonstration: a sit-in, a ‘die-in’, a flash mob. Include teddy bears and toys in your demonstration to represent the unseen victims highlighted by this World Day
  • Take action in a school or university to create awareness amongst similar age groups (invite a speaker or read testimonies to provoke discussion, etc.)
  • Encourage people to draw images or write letters as if they were addressing children who have a parent who has been executed or sentenced to death. Publish them online using #nodeathpenalty
  •  Organize a public debate and a movie screening with families of people sentenced to death, exonerees, their lawyers and experts
  • Organize an art exhibition (of artwork made by people sentenced to death, of photographs of death row, of drawings or posters) or a theatre performance
  • Join the events prepared for the abolition of the death penalty worldwide
  • Donate to a group working to end the Death Penalty
  • Follow the social media campaign on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter: #nodeathpenalty (in the picture or video, display a teddy bear or a toy to represent the unseen victims of this World Day)
  • Mobilize the media to raise awareness of the issue of the death penalty
  • Participate in “Cities Against the Death Penalty/Cities for Life” on 30 November 2019

SOURCE :  [ WWW.WORLDCOALITION.ORG. WD2019Leaflet_EN.pdf] World Coalition Against the Death Penalty

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