The death penalty is the ultimate cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment. It represents an unacceptable denial of human dignity and integrity. It is irrevocable, and where criminal justice systems are open to error or discrimination, the death penalty will inevitably be inflicted on the innocent. In many countries that retain the death penalty there is a wide scope of application which does not meet the minimum safeguards, and prisoners on death row are often detained in conditions which cause physical and/or mental suffering.
This paper takes a country-by-country approach and focuses on:
- The legal framework of the death penalty and its alternative sanction (life imprisonment).
- Implementation of the sentence, including an analysis of fair trial standards.
- Application of the sentence, including an analysis of the method of execution, the prison regime and conditions of imprisonment.
- Statistical information on the application of the death penalty/life imprisonment.
- Criminal justice reform processes in each country.
- Abolition movement in each country.
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