Monday, October 10, 2011

10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty


Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Last year, 67 countries sentenced people to death, and 23 - including the United States - actually executed people [PDF]. Today is the day we work to change that.

This year's focus is on the inhumanity of the death penalty. This isn't just the inhumanity of execution itself, the pain inflicted as people are hanged, electrocuted, or slowly poisoned. Its also the inhumanity of people sent to death row, spending years there, often in appalling conditions, knowing they are going to die. This frequently results in mental illness, and inflicts severe mental pain and suffering - meeting the definition of torture in international law.

Next year the United Nations will vote for a 4th time on a global moratorium on executions. There is a petition calling on all countries to support the moratorium. You can sign it here.