Entries tagged with “Human Rights

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Methods of Execution

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Lethal Injection

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Sep 21, 2022

Alabama Federal Court Issues Injunction Halting Execution of Alan Miller

A fed­er­al dis­trict court issued an order on September 19, 2022 to halt the sched­uled September 22, 2022 exe­cu­tion of Alabama death-row pris­on­er Alan Miller by any method oth­er than nitro­gen hypox­ia,” lead­ing to a series of last-minute appeals by Alabama pros­e­cu­tors and an after-hours exe­cu­tion-night rul­ing by the U.S. Supreme Court to let the exe­cu­tion go for­ward. Alabama sub­se­quent­ly called off the exe­cu­tion when it became appar­ent more than two hours lat­er that exe­cu­tion per­son­nel would be unable to suc­cess­ful­ly set an IV line before the mid­night expi­ra­tion of Miller’s…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Apr 21, 2021

Amnesty International Global Report: Executions Worldwide Fewest in a Decade, Death Sentences Fall More Than One Third in 2020

Fewer exe­cu­tions were car­ried out across the world in 2020 than at any time in a decade and new death sen­tences fell by more than a third, accord­ing to a new report by Amnesty International. It was the third con­sec­u­tive year in which con­firmed exe­cu­tions reached a 10-year low, and the sixth year in a row in which con­firmed exe­cu­tions declined, Amnesty said.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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May 17, 2023

Amnesty International Global Report: Recorded Executions Highest in Five Years Reflects Increases in the Middle East and North Africa

According to an annu­al death penal­ty report by Amnesty International, 2022 saw the high­est num­ber of record­ed exe­cu­tions since 2017, pri­mar­i­ly due to increas­es in just a hand­ful of coun­tries in the Middle East and North Africa. The report also not­ed a slight decrease in the num­ber of new­ly imposed death sen­tences world­wide. In its report, Amnesty says use of the death penal­ty in sev­er­al coun­tries con­tin­ues to vio­late inter­na­tion­al law with pub­lic exe­cu­tions, exe­cu­tions of juve­niles or those with men­tal or intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties, unfair tri­al pro­ceed­ings, and coerced confessions…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Human Rights

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Intellectual Disability

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Mental Illness

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Race

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Aug 28, 2018

Amnesty International Issues Report on the Death Penalty in Florida

A new report by Amnesty International says Floridas approach to redress­ing the near­ly 400 uncon­sti­tu­tion­al non-unan­i­mous death sen­tences imposed in the state has deep­ened its sta­tus as an out­lier on death-penal­ty issues by add[ing] an extra lay­er of arbi­trari­ness to [the state’s] already dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and error-prone cap­i­tal jus­tice system.”

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Foreign Nationals

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Apr 01, 2003

Amnesty International: Violation of the Rights of Foreign Nationals Under Sentence of Death

More than 60 for­eign cit­i­zens rep­re­sent­ing 22 nation­al­i­ties are under sen­tence of death in the United States of America (USA). In vir­tu­al­ly every case, the arrest­ing author­i­ties failed to noti­fy detained for­eign­ers of their right to com­mu­ni­cate with their con­sular rep­re­sen­ta­tives. As a con­se­quence, for­eign nation­als con­front­ed by an unfa­mil­iar legal sys­tem were tried and sen­tenced to death with­out the ben­e­fit of the cru­cial sup­port from the author­i­ties of their native coun­tries. Since 1993, the United States has exe­cut­ed at least 5 for­eign nation­als, includ­ing cit­i­zens of the Dominican Republic,…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Sentencing Data

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Jun 06, 2022

Amnesty International: Mixed Global Trends on Death Penalty as More Nations Abolish and Record Few Conduct Executions, But Extreme Practices, Widespread Secrecy Reported in Outlier Nations

More coun­tries aban­doned the death penal­ty and a record low num­ber car­ried it out, but extreme prac­tices in a few out­lier nations caused glob­al exe­cu­tions to rise in 2021, accord­ing to the human rights group Amnesty International.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Military

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Jul 21, 2021

At Odds with Biden Administration’s Concern Over Use of Statements Obtained by Torture, Chief Guantánamo Prosecutor Retires

After clash­ing with Biden admin­is­tra­tion offi­cials over the pro­pri­ety of using state­ments obtained through tor­ture from Guantánamo detainees, Army Brigadier General Mark S. Martins (pic­tured), the chief pros­e­cu­tor in the Guantánamo Military Commissions tri­als, will retire from the mil­i­tary on September 30, 2021. Martins, who had served as the com­mis­sions’ chief pros­e­cu­tor through­out the Obama and Trump admin­is­tra­tions, abrupt­ly sub­mit­ted papers on July 7 pro­vid­ing notice of his ear­ly retire­ment. Gen. Martins had recent­ly sought and obtained an exten­sion of his Guantánamo assign­ment until January 12023.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Women

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Aug 31, 2018

Cases in Sudan, Saudi Arabia Illustrate Use of Death Penalty Against Women to Enforce Gender Norms

In high-pro­file cas­es in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, human rights advo­cates are protest­ing the threat­ened use of the death penal­ty against women for resist­ing oppres­sion. In the Sudan, pros­e­cu­tors are seek­ing to rein­state the death sen­tence against Noura Hussein (pic­tured), a teen girl forced into mar­riage who killed her abu­sive hus­band as he tried to rape her. The Saudi Arabian gov­ern­ment is seek­ing the death penal­ty against Israa al-Ghomgham, an activist who has sought equal rights for Shiite Muslims. The two cas­es illus­trate a world­wide pat­tern in the use of…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Race

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Women

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Nov 10, 2022

Death Penalty Information Center Launches Series on Human Rights and the U.S. Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Information Center, sup­port­ed by the Foreign Office of the Federal Republic of Germany, launched a new project on Human Rights and the U.S. Death Penalty on November 4, 2022, with a live-streamed pan­el dis­cus­sion at the German embassy in Washington, D.C. The record­ed event, which fea­tured not­ed experts and was attend­ed by schol­ars, advo­cates, and mem­bers of the world diplo­mat­ic corps, was the first in a series of webi­na­rs that will spot­light human rights issues in the use and imple­men­ta­tion of the U.S. death penalty.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Nov 15, 2021

Death-Row Prisoners in Japan Sue Over Same-Day Notice of Executions

Two Japanese death-row pris­on­ers have filed a law­suit alleg­ing that the country’s long-crit­i­cized prac­tice of noti­fy­ing pris­on­ers of their exe­cu­tion the same day they are to be put to death is inhu­mane” and vio­lates the nation’s constitution.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Military

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Feb 15, 2022

Department of Justice Reverses Course, Rejects Use of Evidence Obtained by Torture in Guantánamo Death Penalty Case

In what one ana­lyst described as an impor­tant step to restore the rule of law,” the U.S. Department of Justice has pledged not to use state­ments obtained by tor­ture in its Guantánamo Military Commissions pros­e­cu­tion of Abd Al-Rahim Hussein Al-Nashiri. Al-Nashiri is accused of mas­ter­mind­ing the Al Qaeda sui­cide bomb­ing of the U.S.S. Cole that killed 17 U.S. sailors in October 2000. The U.S. gov­ern­ment is seek­ing the death penal­ty against him.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Innocence

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Time on Death Row

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Jun 22, 2020

DPIC Analysis — At Least 1,300 Prisoners are on U.S. Death Rows in Violation of U.S. Human Rights Obligations

At least 1,300 pris­on­ers have been incar­cer­at­ed on U.S. death rows for more than two decades, in vio­la­tion of U.S. human rights oblig­a­tions, a Death Penalty Information Center analy­sis of death-row demo­graph­ic data has found. The num­ber rep­re­sents more than half of all U.S. death-row pris­on­ers as of January 1, 2020. Nearly one third of the pris­on­ers whose extend­ed incar­cer­a­tions on death row vio­late their human rights are fac­ing exe­cu­tion in California. Nearly 200 more con­demned pris­on­ers were exe­cut­ed 20 or more years after hav­ing been sen­tenced to death, also…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Innocence

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International

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DPIC Reports

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Executions Overview

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Time on Death Row

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Jun 22, 2020

DPIC Report — At least 1,300 Prisoners are on U.S. Death Rows in Violation of U.S. Human Rights Obligations

At least 1,300 pris­on­ers have been impris­oned on U.S. death rows for more than two decades, in vio­la­tion of U.S. human rights oblig­a­tions, a Death Penalty Information Center report on death-row incar­cer­a­tion prac­tices has found. The num­ber rep­re­sents more than half of all U.S. death-row pris­on­ers as of January 1, 2020. Nearly one third of the pris­on­ers whose lengthy death-row incar­cer­a­tions vio­late their human rights are on death row in California.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Sep 20, 2022

Equatorial Guinea Becomes 25th African Country to Abolish Death Penalty

Equatorial Guinea has abol­ished the death penal­ty, becom­ing the 25th African nation to end cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment and the fourth in the past two years. According to state tele­vi­sion reports, on September 19, 2022, President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo signed into law a new crim­i­nal code that removes the death penal­ty from the statute books of the cen­tral African nation of 1.3 mil­lion peo­ple on the continent’s Atlantic coast.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Oct 12, 2007

European Union and World Leaders Mark Day Against the Death Penalty

Member nations of the European Union and the Council of Europe marked October 10th as European Day Against the Death Penalty,” an action to under­score the con­ti­nen­t’s firm com­mit­ment to end­ing exe­cu­tions through­out the world. Leaders from the EU and the Council of Europe launched the ini­ta­tive dur­ing an October 9th con­fer­ence in Lisbon, Portugal. On October 10 in New York at the United Nations, a press con­fer­ence also marked the World Day Against the Death Penalty” with inter­na­tion­al human rights lead­ers urg­ing sup­port for a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Conditions on Death Row

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Apr 16, 2020

Federal Court Approves Settlement of Pennsylvania Death-Row Conditions Lawsuit

A fed­er­al dis­trict court judge has approved a set­tle­ment of a class action chal­lenge to the con­di­tions of con­fine­ment on Pennsylvania’s death row that offi­cial­ly ends the state’s pol­i­cy of manda­to­ry incar­cer­a­tion of death-row pris­on­ers in per­ma­nent soli­tary confinement.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Recent Legislative Activity

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Dec 10, 2013

Former Gov. Bill Richardson Issues Human Rights Day Statement on International Decline of Death Penalty

December 10 is Human Rights Day, the 65th anniver­sary of the United Nations’ adop­tion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To mark this anniver­sary, for­mer New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson (pic­tured) joined Federico Mayor, President of the International Commission Against the Death Penalty, in draw­ing atten­tion to the steady decline inter­na­tion­al­ly in the use of the death penal­ty. As gov­er­nor, Richardson had signed New Mexicos death-penal­ty repeal bill in 2009. In an op-ed in the Global Post, Richardson and Mayor not­ed that, in the late 1970s, only 16 countries…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Military

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Sep 16, 2022

Guantánamo Prosecutor Who Advocated Use of Torture Testimony Removed from U.S.S. Cole Bombing Case

A sec­ond mil­i­tary com­mis­sions pros­e­cu­tor who had advo­cat­ed using tes­ti­mo­ny obtained by tor­ture against defen­dants in the death penal­ty tri­al of the Guantánamo detainees charged with the October 2000 bomb­ing of the U.S.S. Cole (pic­tured) in waters off the coast of Yemen has been removed from the case.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Foreign Nationals

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Aug 24, 2015

Human Rights Commission Calls for Stay of Execution for Nicaraguan Man on Texas Death Row

(UPDATE: The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has grant­ed Bernardo Tercero a stay of exe­cu­tion to per­mit him to lit­i­gate evi­dence that a lead pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness tes­ti­fied false­ly against him.) The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), a unit of the Organization of American States, has called on Texas offi­cials to stay the exe­cu­tion of Nicaraguan cit­i­zen Bernardo Tercero (pic­tured), who is sched­uled to be exe­cut­ed in Texas on August 26. Under inter­na­tion­al treaties on con­sular rela­tions, for­eign cit­i­zens (includ­ing Americans abroad) must be afford­ed access to their gov­ern­men­t’s consulate…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Sep 14, 2017

Human Rights Groups Urge U.S. Government To Sanction Officials Accused Of Torture, Executions Under New Law

A coali­tion of 23 human rights groups, includ­ing Human Rights First, Human Rights Watch, and Reprieve, has urged the United States gov­ern­ment to issue sanc­tions against for­eign gov­ern­ment offi­cials who they say have used the death penal­ty to repress polit­i­cal dis­sent by tor­tur­ing peace­ful pro­test­ers into con­fess­ing to cap­i­tal offens­es they did not commit.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Mental Illness

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Upcoming Executions

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Conditions on Death Row

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Women

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Federal Death Penalty

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Dec 18, 2020

Human Rights Tribunal Calls for Stay of Execution for Lisa Montgomery

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), the human rights body charged with over­see­ing Western Hemisphere nations’ com­pli­ance with human rights oblig­a­tions, has called on the United States to halt the sched­uled January 12, 2021 exe­cu­tion of Lisa Montgomery.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Federal Death Penalty

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Jul 11, 2022

In New Report, Amnesty International Urges President Biden to End the Federal Death Penalty and Commute All Federal Death Sentences

A new report by the human rights orga­ni­za­tion Amnesty International urges President Joe Biden to act upon his cam­paign pledge to work to abol­ish the death penal­ty by exer­cis­ing his con­sti­tu­tion­al author­i­ty to com­mute the sen­tences of all fed­er­al death row prisoners.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Dec 17, 2009

INTERNATIONAL: UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Calls for an End to the Death Penalty

On December 15 the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights marked the 20th anniver­sary of an inter­na­tion­al death penal­ty treaty by call­ing for the uni­ver­sal abo­li­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. Navi Pillay, the top UN human rights offi­cial, urged all states to adopt the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The pro­to­col, which bars the death penal­ty, was intro­duced in 1989. Abolishing the death penal­ty is a dif­fi­cult process for many soci­eties,” she said. “[A]nd rat­i­fi­ca­tion of the Optional Protocol can often only come about…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Death Row

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Oct 31, 2012

INTERNATIONAL: UN Investigator Claims Executions are Increasingly Viewed as Torture Around the World

On October 23, the United Nations’ spe­cial rap­por­teur on tor­ture, Juan Mendez, told a UN General Assembly human rights com­mit­tee that coun­tries around the world are increas­ing­ly view­ing cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment as a form of tor­ture because of the severe men­tal and phys­i­cal pain it inflicts on those sen­tenced to death.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Dec 12, 2022

Iran Executes Two Prisoners Arrested in Ongoing Protests, Threatens More to Follow

In what human rights groups warn is just the start of a vio­lent cam­paign of polit­i­cal repres­sion, the Islamic Republic of Iran has begun exe­cut­ing pro­test­ers in the ongo­ing civ­il unrest fol­low­ing the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini while in cus­tody of the government’s moral­i­ty police.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Conditions on Death Row

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Dec 22, 2021

Law Review: Most U.S. Death-Row Prisoners Have Been Housed in Prolonged Solitary Confinement that Violates International Human Rights Norms

More than half of all U.S. death-row pris­on­ers are or have recent­ly been incar­cer­at­ed in pro­longed con­di­tions of soli­tary con­fine­ment that are like­ly uncon­sti­tu­tion­al and that vio­late inter­na­tion­al human rights norms, a DPIC analy­sis of data in a recent law review arti­cle has found.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Aug 24, 2021

Malawi Supreme Court Retreats from Opinion that Declared the Death Penalty Unconstitutional

In a con­fus­ing about-face that has angered human rights activists, the Malawian Supreme Court of Appeal has retreat­ed from a pri­or deci­sion of the court that had appeared to have abol­ished the African nation’s death penal­ty. On August 18, 2021, sev­en jus­tices of the high court issued a per­fect­ed” judg­ment in the case of Khoviwa v. The Republic declar­ing that the orig­i­nal opin­ion, authored by since-retired Justice of Appeal Dunstain Mwaungulu (pic­tured) and read from the bench in his absence on April 28, was an unper­fect­ed rul­ing that rep­re­sent­ed the…

Policy Issues

International

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Jun 12, 2022

Malaysian Government Pledges to End Mandatory Death Penalty

The cab­i­net of the gov­ern­ment of Malaysia announced on June 10, 2022 that it had reached agree­ment to abol­ish the nation’s manda­to­ry death penal­ty laws and sub­mit leg­is­la­tion to par­lia­ment to pro­vide judges dis­cre­tion to impose oth­er penal­ties for cap­i­tal crimes. Law Minister Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the cab­i­net also agreed to study pro­pos­als to sub­sti­tute sen­tences for those cur­rent­ly on death row for offences car­ry­ing the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Innocence

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International

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Representation

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Upcoming Executions

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Conditions on Death Row

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Mar 02, 2022

Melissa Lucio Files Motions to Vacate Death Warrant, Remove Judge and District Attorney Based on Conflicts of Interest

Lawyers for Texas death-row pris­on­er Melissa Lucio (pic­tured) have moved to vacate her April 27, 2022 exe­cu­tion date and remove the judge and dis­trict attor­ney in her case because of con­flicts of inter­est stem­ming from their employ­ment of key mem­bers of Lucio’s orig­i­nal defense team.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Oct 16, 2019

Mixed Signals From Uganda as Officials Advocate, then Disavow, Death Penalty For LGBTQ Conduct

Facing a poten­tial back­lash from major aid donors, Uganda’s pres­i­dent has attempt­ed to dis­tance his gov­ern­ment from leg­isla­tive efforts to rein­tro­duce a bill that would make con­sen­su­al same-sex acts pun­ish­able by the death penal­ty and crim­i­nal­ize pro­mo­tion and recruit­ment” of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty. The so-called Kill the Gays” bill pre­vi­ous­ly pro­mot­ed by gov­ern­ment offi­cials would great­ly expand the pun­ish­ment of homo­sex­u­al­i­ty under Ugandan law. The pro­posed bill is a more dra­con­ian ver­sion of a law struck down in 2014 by Uganda’s Constitutional Court after Parliamentary lead­ers had ille­gal­ly secured pas­sage of the…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Apr 11, 2023

NEW RESOURCES: Human Rights and the Death Penalty

The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), with the sup­port of the Foreign Office of the Federal Government of Germany, recent­ly under­took a project exam­in­ing the U.S. death penal­ty through a human rights lens. DPIC has added a series of human rights pages to its web­site, refram­ing three aspects of the death penal­ty – race, con­di­tions of con­fine­ment, and exe­cu­tions – in light of human rights norms and treaties.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Jun 09, 2010

NEW RESOURCES: The Death Penalty for Drug Offences — Global Overview 2010

The International Harm Reduction Association (IHRA) recent­ly pub­lished a report on the use of the death penal­ty for drug crimes around the world. The report dis­tin­guish­es between coun­tries that have leg­is­la­tion allow­ing a death sen­tence for drug offens­es and those that actu­al­ly apply it in prac­tice. According to the report, 32 juris­dic­tions retain the death penal­ty for drug offens­es (out of the 58 coun­tries that have the death penal­ty for any offense), at least 12 of which were known to have car­ried out an exe­cu­tion for such offens­es in the…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Sep 12, 2018

New UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Condemns Mass Death Sentences Imposed in Egypt

Incoming United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet (pic­tured), has con­demned the mass tri­al of more than 700 pro­test­ers in a Cairo, Egypt, crim­i­nal court, in which 75 defen­dants were sen­tenced to death. The court also imposed life sen­tences on 47 oth­ers on September 8 and sen­tenced anoth­er 612 defen­dants to prison terms of 15, 10, or 5 years. The defen­dants faced charges rang­ing from ille­gal gath­er­ing” to mur­der and attempt­ed mur­der aris­ing from their involve­ment in a 2013 protest against the mil­i­tary over­throw of Egypt’s first democratically…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Juveniles

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Apr 25, 2019

Saudi Arabia Condemned for Mass Execution of 37 People, Including Juveniles, After Unfair Trials

In an action con­demned by the United Nations and human rights groups as a fla­grant vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law, Saudi Arabia behead­ed 37 peo­ple, includ­ing juve­nile offend­ers, in six sep­a­rate loca­tions on April 23, 2019. It was the nation’s largest mass exe­cu­tion since January 2016. Most of the peo­ple exe­cut­ed were mem­bers of the Shi’a Muslim minor­i­ty com­mu­ni­ty. The human rights advo­cates blast­ed Saudi offi­cials for tar­get­ing polit­i­cal­ly dis­fa­vored groups and dis­re­gard­ing inter­na­tion­al fair tri­al norms. At least three of those exe­cut­ed were minors at the time of their alleged…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Dec 05, 2022

Saudi Arabia Reneges on Pledge to End Death Penalty for Drug Crimes; Execution Spree Draws Condemnation from UN and Human Rights NGOs

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and a coali­tion of more than 30 non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions have con­demned the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for a series of exe­cu­tions for drug crimes car­ried out in vio­la­tion of inter­na­tion­al law. Human rights orga­ni­za­tions report­ed that Saudi author­i­ties exe­cut­ed 20 men in November for drug offens­es — 12 of them for­eign nation­als — after sud­den­ly lift­ing a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions for defen­dants con­vict­ed of drug-relat­ed crimes.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Lethal Injection

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Nov 28, 2017

Senior U.N. Official Assails Death-Penalty Secrecy As Obstruction of Human Rights

A senior United Nations human rights offi­cial has crit­i­cized the secre­cy with which coun­tries car­ry out the death penal­ty and called for greater trans­paren­cy by coun­tries that still employ cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. There is far too much secre­cy,” United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Andrew Gilmour (pic­tured) said in an inter­view released November 21 by the U.N. News Centre, and it’s quite indica­tive the fact that although many coun­tries are giv­ing up the prac­tice, those that retain it nev­er­the­less feel that they have some­thing to hide.”

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Jul 26, 2021

Sierra Leone Becomes 23rd African Country to Abolish the Death Penalty

The par­lia­ment of Sierra Leone vot­ed unan­i­mous­ly on July 23, 2021 to abol­ish the death penal­ty, mak­ing the West African nation of 7.8 mil­lion peo­ple the 23rd coun­try on the con­ti­nent and the 110th world­wide to end cap­i­tal punishment.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Aug 14, 2023

Singapore Announces Plans to Execute More Death-Sentenced Prisoners Convicted of Non-Violent Drug Offenses

Human rights advo­cates are crit­i­ciz­ing the Singapore government’s plan to exe­cute more death-sen­tenced pris­on­ers con­vict­ed of non-vio­lent drug offens­es. Singapore has so far hanged 16 peo­ple since resum­ing state exe­cu­tions in March last year, and all of those exe­cut­ed were low- to mid-lev­el drug offend­ers con­vict­ed of traf­fick­ing amounts of drugs that would cur­rent­ly result in rel­a­tive­ly small pun­ish­ments in the UK and US. There is wide­spread pub­lic sup­port for use of the death penal­ty as an effec­tive pol­i­cy for reduc­ing drug traf­fick­ing in Singapore. In the U.S., one pres­i­den­tial can­di­date supports…

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Race

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Death Row

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Nov 01, 2013

STUDIES: Human Rights Groups Examine Death Penalty in California and Louisiana

The Center for Constitutional Rights and the International Federation for Human Rights recent­ly released an analy­sis of the death penal­ty in California and Louisiana. The report con­clud­ed that those states’ appli­ca­tion of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment vio­lates U.S. oblig­a­tions under inter­na­tion­al human rights law to pre­vent and pro­hib­it dis­crim­i­na­tion and tor­ture, cru­el, inhu­man or degrad­ing treat­ment.” Researchers con­duct­ed inter­views with many of those involved in the legal sys­tem and exam­ined data on charg­ing, sen­tenc­ing, and exe­cu­tions. They found that racial dis­par­i­ties in the death penal­ty in both states con­sti­tut­ed discrimination.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Death Row

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Apr 27, 2017

Study: Texas’ Harsh and Inhumane’ Death-Row Conditions Amount to Torture’

The con­di­tions in which pris­on­ers on Texas’ death row are con­fined are harsh and inhu­mane,” vio­late inter­na­tion­al human rights norms, and amount to a severe and relent­less act of tor­ture,” accord­ing to a new study by the University of Texas School of Law Human Rights Clinic.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Aug 01, 2006

U.N. Human Rights Committee Urges U.S to Place Moratorium on Death Penalty

Citing the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a United Nations pan­el rec­om­mend­ed that the United States impose a mora­to­ri­um on exe­cu­tions. The report, issued on July 28 by the U.N. Human Rights Committee, stat­ed the pan­el was con­cerned by stud­ies accord­ing to which the death penal­ty may be imposed dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly on eth­nic minori­ties as well as on low-income groups, a prob­lem which does not seem to be ful­ly acknowl­edged.” The pan­el, made up of 18 inde­pen­dent experts who review the prac­tices of 156 coun­tries who have ratified…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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Foreign Nationals

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Nov 13, 2018

U.N. Human Rights Officials Say Planned Texas Execution Violates International Treaties

United Nations human rights offi­cials have urged the gov­ern­ment of the United States to halt the immi­nent exe­cu­tion of a Mexican nation­al who was tried and sen­tenced to death in Texas in vio­la­tion of U.S. treaty oblig­a­tions. Texas is sched­uled to exe­cute Roberto Moreno Ramos (pic­tured) on November 14, in an action an inter­na­tion­al human rights court has said would vio­late the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. Agnes Callamard, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions, and Seong-Phil Hong, the Chair-Rapporteur of the Council’s…

Policy Issues

International

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Nov 11, 2020

U.S. Death Penalty Criticized by U.N. Human Rights Council During Human Rights Review

The United States faced harsh crit­i­cism from the world com­mu­ni­ty for its con­tin­ued use of cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment dur­ing a United Nations review of its human rights record on November 9, 2020. During the U.N. Human Rights Council Universal Periodic Review of the United States’ human rights record on November 9, 2020, coun­tries around the world crit­i­cized the U.S. for sys­temic racism, police vio­lence against civil­ians, sep­a­ra­tion of immi­grant fam­i­lies and intern­ment of immi­grant chil­dren, and use of the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Dec 20, 2022

U.S. Votes No, as Record Number of Nations Adopt UN Resolution for Global Moratorium on the Death Penalty

With the sup­port of a record 125 nations, the United Nations General Assembly has over­whelm­ing­ly adopt­ed a res­o­lu­tion call­ing for a glob­al mora­to­ri­um on the use of the death penal­ty with a view towards its ulti­mate abo­li­tion. The United States vot­ed no, plac­ing it in the com­pa­ny of Iran, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, China, North Korea, and Vietnam.

Policy Issues

International

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Mar 26, 2020

United Kingdom Supreme Court Rules Britain Cannot Provide Evidence to U.S. for Use in Death-Penalty Cases

In a deci­sion that exposed the deep divide between the United States and its European allies on cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment issues, the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom unan­i­mous­ly ruled that the British gov­ern­ment unlaw­ful­ly pro­vid­ed infor­ma­tion to the United States about two sus­pect­ed Islamic State mem­bers with­out first obtain­ing assur­ances that the infor­ma­tion would not be used to impose or car­ry out the death penalty.

Policy Issues

Arbitrariness

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Human Rights

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International

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Race

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Religion

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Oct 06, 2017

US Votes Against UN Resolution Condemning Death Penalty for Religious Speech, Sexual Orientation

The United States has vot­ed against an his­toric res­o­lu­tion passed by the United Nations Human Rights Council con­demn­ing the crim­i­nal­iza­tion of and use of the death penal­ty for apos­ta­sy, blas­phe­my, adul­tery, and con­sen­su­al same-sex rela­tions and call­ing on nations in which the death penal­ty is legal to ensure that it is not imposed arbi­trar­i­ly or in a dis­crim­i­na­to­ry man­ner.” The res­o­lu­tion also called for an end to the dis­crim­i­na­to­ry use of the death penal­ty against per­sons belong­ing to racial and eth­nic minori­ties … and its use against indi­vid­u­als with mental…

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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May 23, 2022

Western Democracies, Human Rights Groups Denounce Belarus’ Use of Death Penalty to Target Political Opponents and Anti-War Activists

The U.S. State Department and the European Union have joined human rights and pro-democ­ra­cy advo­cates in con­demn­ing the expan­sion of the death penal­ty in Belarus to include non-lethal attempt­ed acts of ter­ror­ism,” call­ing the mea­sure an act of repres­sion against oppo­nents of the nation’s auto­crat­ic regime and its assis­tance to the Russian inva­sion of neigh­bor­ing Ukraine.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Jun 27, 2016

World Congress Against the Death Penalty Renews Call for Global Moratorium, Pope Sends Message of Support

Delegates to the Sixth World Congress Against the Death Penalty, held in Oslo, Norway from June 21 to June 23, 2016, have renewed the orga­ni­za­tion’s call for a glob­al mora­to­ri­um on cap­i­tal pun­ish­ment. The event, attend­ed by more than 1300 rep­re­sen­ta­tives from 80 coun­tries, fea­tured dis­cus­sions by death penal­ty stake­hold­ers from around the world. Participants includ­ed human rights offi­cials from the United Nations and European Union, as well as Justice Ministers from both abo­li­tion­ist and reten­tion­ist coun­tries, Nobel Peace Prize lau­re­ates, glob­al death-row exonerees, non-gov­ern­men­tal human rights orga­ni­za­tions, attor­neys, journalists,…

Policy Issues

International

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Juveniles

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Apr 14, 2020

World Death Penalty News — Report: Saudi Arabia Carries Out 800th Execution Under King Salman

NEWS (4/​14/​20) — Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has car­ried out its 800th exe­cu­tion under the five-year reign of King Salman bin Abdulaziz, accord­ing to reports by the human rights groups European-Saudi Organisation for Human Rights (ESOHR) and Reprieve. The groups say the exe­cu­tion rate is near­ly dou­ble the rate in the five years pre­ced­ing Salman’s assump­tion of lead­er­ship in the Kingdom in 2015. From 2009 to 2014, Saudi Arabia car­ried out a total of 423 executions.

Policy Issues

Human Rights

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International

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Jul 05, 2023

Worldwide Wednesday’s International Roundup: China, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and UAE

A total of 68 exe­cu­tions have occurred in Saudi Arabia this year, with more than 20 exe­cu­tions relat­ing to ter­ror­ism charges occur­ring since ear­ly May, accord­ing to Agence France-Presse. On July 3, five men, includ­ing one Egyptian nation­al, were exe­cut­ed for a dead­ly attack on a house of wor­ship in the Al-Ahsa gov­er­norate, result­ing in five dead and sev­er­al injured. On June 25, two Yemeni nation­als were exe­cut­ed on ter­ror­ism charges, and on June 12, three Saudi men were exe­cut­ed for the killing of a secu­ri­ty offi­cer and ter­ror­ism charges.