[Deathpenalty] death penalty news----worldwide
rhalperi at smu.edu
Tue Aug 16 18:41:57 CDT 2011
We do not need the death penalty
As a product of revolutionary politics, I want to make it clear that the time
has come to abolish the death penalty in Botswana.
No matter what reason the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) government gives for
executing death-row prisoners, the death penalty cannot be separated from the
issue of human rights.
The country's leadership should be aware of what the death penalty is, how it
is used, how it affects the citizens and how it violates fundamental rights.
The Universal Declaration (of Human Rights) recognises each person's right to
life and categorically states further that: "No one shall be subjected to
torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". Like
torture, the death penalty is degrading and destroys human life. The
alternative to this cruelty is abolition of capital punishment.
My observation is that capital punishment does not stamp up crime. It is a
pseudo-solution which directs attention from the measures needed to prevent
crime by creating the false impression that decisive action is being taken.
In fact the death penalty does not protect society. It distracts attention from
the urgent need for methods of effective protection, which uphold and enhance
respect for human rights and life.
The physical pain caused by the killing of a human being cannot be quantified.
Nor can the psychological suffering caused by fore-knowledge of death at the
hands of state.
The death penalty may encompass other human rights violations. For instance,
when a state convicts prisoners without affording them a fair trial, it denies
them the right to due process and equality before the law. The irrevocable
punishment of death removes not only the victim's right to seek legal redress
for wrongful conviction, but also the judicial system's capacity to correct its
Like killings, which take place outside the law, the death penalty does not
value human life. By violating the right to life, it removes the foundation for
the realisation of all rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights. So, the death penalty is a violation of fundamental human rights and
would be wrong even if it could be shown that it uniquely meets a vital social
need. What makes the use of the capital punishment even more indefensible is
that it has never served any genuine social need.
(source: Opinion, Mmegi Online)
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