30 January 2015
International campaigns to abolish the death penalty continue and recommendations to legislate for the abolition of capital punishment and ratify the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights are regularly made during the Universal Periodic Review of retentionist States at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Those arguing for its abolition argue that the death penalty
- is a barbaric and antiquated practice when more socially-effective and civilized techniques to punish (and rehabilitate) criminals are available,
- does not act as a deterrent,
- has too often resulted in the execution of the innocent,
- is a more expensive than other suitable alternatives and in practice
- discriminates against the poor and members of racial minorities.
The impending execution of two Australians in Indonesia following their convictions for drug trafficking has once again brought the issue to the fore in Australia. A final effort to prevent the execution of the two Australians can be found here.