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EXTERNAL AI Index: ACT 50/04/95

Distr: SC/PO/CC/DP


Amnesty International

International Secretariat

1 Easton Street

London WC1X 8DJ

United Kingdom


30 June 1995

1. Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries

Half the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in

law or practice.

Amnesty International's (AI's) latest information shows that:

* 55 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes

* 15 countries have abolished the death penalty for all but

exceptional crimes such as wartime crimes

* 27 countries can be considered abolitionist de facto: they retain

the death penalty in law but have not carried out any executions

for the past 10 years or more

making a total of 97 countries which have abolished the death penalty in

law or practice.

* 97 other countries retain and use the death penalty, but the

number of countries which actually execute prisoners in any one

year is much smaller (see below, item 4).

(Reference: List of Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries, AI Index:

ACT 50/01/95 [updated])

2. Progress Towards Worldwide Abolition

More than two countries a year on average have abolished the death

penalty in law since 1976 or, having abolished it for ordinary crimes, have

gone on to abolish it for all crimes.

21 countries have abolished the death penalty for ordinary crimes or for

all crimes since 1989. They include countries in Africa (examples include

Namibia, Mozambique, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau), Latin America (Paraguay), Asia

(Cambodia, Nepal), eastern Europe (Slovenia, Hungary, Croatia, Romania, the

Czech and Slovak republics), western Europe (Greece, Italy, Switzerland) and

the Pacific (New Zealand).

(Reference: List of Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries)

3. Moves to Reintroduce the Death Penalty

Once abolished the death penalty is seldom reintroduced. Since 1985, 24

countries have abolished the death penalty in law or, having previously

abolished it for ordinary crimes, have gone on to abolish it for all crimes.

During the same period only 3 abolitionist countries reintroduced the death

penalty. One of them - Nepal - has since abolished the death penalty again,

and there have been no executions in the other two (Papua New Guinea,


(References: List of Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries, p. 6; AI,

When the State Kills, pp. 86-90)

4. Death Sentences and Executions

During 1994, 2,331 prisoners are known to have been executed in 37

countries and 4,032 sentenced to death in 75 countries. These figures include

only cases known to AI; the true figures are certainly higher.

As in previous years, a small number of countries accounted for the vast

majority of executions recorded. AI received reports of 1,791 executions in

China, 139 executions in Iran and over 100 in Nigeria. These three countries

alone accounted for 87% of all executions recorded by AI worldwide in 1994.

AI received reports of several hundred executions in Iraq but was unable to

confirm most of these reports or to give an exact figure.

(Reference: Death Sentences and Executions in 1994, AI Index: ACT


5. Use of the Death Penalty Against Juveniles

International human rights treaties prohibit anyone under 18 years old

at the time of the crime being sentenced to death. The International Covenant

on Civil and Political Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights and the

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child all have provisions to this effect.

More than 100 countries have laws specifically excluding the execution of

juvenile offenders or may be presumed to exclude such executions by being

parties to one or another of the above treaties. A small number of countries,

however, continue to execute juvenile offenders.

5 countries since 1990 are known to have executed prisoners who were

under 18 years old at the time of the crime - Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, USA and Yemen. The majority of known executions of juvenile offenders was in

the USA (6 since 1990).

(Reference: USA: Developments on the death penalty during 1994, AI

Index: AMR 51/01/95, p. 12)

6. The Deterrence Argument

Scientific studies have consistently failed to find convincing evidence

that the death penalty deters crime more effectively than other punishments.

The most recent survey of research findings on the relation between the death

penalty and homicide rates, conducted for the UN in 1988, concluded that "This

research has failed to provide scientific proof that executions have a greater

deterrent effect than life imprisonment. Such proof is unlikely to be

forthcoming. The evidence as a whole still gives no positive support to the

deterrent hypothesis."

(References: AI,When the State Kills, pp. 5, 10-14; Roger Hood, The

Death Penalty: A World-wide Perspective, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1989, p.


7. Effect of Abolition on Crime Rates

Reviewing the evidence on the relation between changes in the use of the

death penalty and crime rates, a study prepared for the UN in 1988 stated that

"the fact that all the evidence continues to point in the same direction is

persuasive a priori evidence that countries need not fear sudden and serious

changes in the curve of crime if they reduce their reliance on the death


Recent crime figures from abolitionist countries fail to show that

abolition has harmful effects. In Canada, the homicide rate per 100,000

population fell from a peak of 3.09 in 1975, the year before the abolition of

the death penalty for murder, to 2.41 in 1980, and since thenit has remained

relatively stable. In 1993, 17 years after abolition, the homicide rate was

2.19 per 100,000 population, 27 per cent lower than in 1975. The total number

of homicides reported in the country fell in 1993 for the second straight


(References: AI, When the State Kills, pp.11-12 [updated]; Roger Hood,

The Death Penalty, p. 124, paragraph 148)

8. International Agreements to Abolish the Death Penalty

One of the most important developments in recent years has been the

adoption of international treaties whereby states commit themselves to not

having the death penalty. Three such treaties now exist:

* The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and

Political Rights, which has now been ratified by 28 states. 4 other

states have signed the Protocol, indicating their intention to become

parties to it at a later date.

* The Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, which has

now been ratified by 23 European states and signed by 3 others.

* The Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the

Death Penalty, which has been ratified by 3 states in the Americas and

signed by 4 others.

The Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights is an

agreement to abolish the death penalty in peacetime. The other two protocols

provide for the total abolition of the death penalty but allow states wishing

to do so to retain the death penalty in wartime as an exception.

9. Execution of the Innocent

As long as the death penalty is maintained, the risk of executing the

innocent can never be eliminated.

350 people convicted of capital crimes in the USA between 1900 and 1985

were innocent of the crimes charged, according to a 1987 study. Some prisoners

escaped execution by minutes, but 23 were actually executed.

A US Congressional report by the House Subcommittee on Civil and

Constitutional Rights in October 1993 listed 48 condemned men who had been

freed from death row since 1972. The report blamed inadequate legal

safeguards to prevent wrongful executions and listed numerous inherent flaws

in the criminal justice system. The report concluded: "Judging by past

experience, a substantial number of death row inmates are indeed innocent, and

there is a high risk that some of them will be executed."

(References: AI, When the State Kills, p. 32; "United States of America:

Developments on the Death Penalty during 1993", AMR 51/02/94, p. 14)




jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition


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