Abolition Now !
DEATH PENALTY IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
The death penalty is still spread over several countries in
the world, in democracies likewise as in dictatorships. Countries such as
Iran, Iraq; Saudi Arabia, China and the Philippines use the death penalty,
today. But also in democracies like the United States, it is still legal
The International declaration for Human Rights which is
signed by the United States of America forbids any kind of cruel, inhuman
or degrading punishment.
The death penalty in the USA has considerable racist
tendencies. Still the executive authority is mostly occupied by white
males. But basic human rights, independent of the person or her or his act
are due to everyone,
A short view on some figures and information:
* Around 3700 people are currently on death row in the
* On February 5, 1999 death-row inmate Anthony Porter (Illinois) was freed after 16 years of incarceration. He was sentenced to death for murdering a young couple in August, 1982. In February 1999, new evidence showed up his innocence. Some students of North Western University investigated his case, supported by a private detective and their Professor and found new discharging evidence for his innocence. The Illinois state law demands a comprehension of death row- inmates for their sentence, before they're executed. In 1998 was founded, that his IQ was 51. He was the most mentally remained since resuming the death penalty in 1977.
The risk of killing those wrongfully convicted people "by
mistake" is a basic reason for those who argue against the death
According to all of this, one has to consider that the
stay or even the (in some States "recently" anticipated) reintroduction of
capital punishment is based on election returns for the most, so it is
suitable to today's American idea of justice within a modern
In many southern conservative states, but also in
California which is known as a progressive state, candidates who oppose capital punishment have no chance to be elected to state
governors. Candidates who publish their "Pro-Death opinion" gain a high
rate of returns in their communities. What are the reasons
Statistics and long-term investigations reveal, that the
application of capital punishment has not deterred violent crime more
effectively than other forms of punishment. Even though most of the
Americans think that the death penalty is an adequate deterrent against
violent crime. Further many American citizens, district attorneys and
politicians argue, that a killing implicates the loss of any human rights,
especially the right to live for the offenders. Society is taking a
strange kind of revenge which is not allowed for "private people" like
relatives of murder-victims. The history of American death penalty shows
that it was introduced by government during the 1920ķes to get
lynch-justice under control. There are several arguments alike, many
American Christians believe in the "an eye for an eye", "a tooth for a
tooth"-principle the old testament proves. Especially the relatives of
violent crime victims often demand the death penalty, even though they
sympathise for the murderer's families.
Death-row inmates are often defenceless extradited to
physical and psychical force and arbitrariness by prison-personell. They
get no adequate medical or psychical care. Especially women incarcerated
in the U.S.A. who are neither social privileged nor having a lobby have to
expect the worst treatment. U.S.-justice endeavours equally treatment of
genders also in the practice of death sentencing and executing. While they
disliked to execute women in former times, today a special hardness is to
In the cases of Wanda Jean Allen who was executed in January 2001 in the State of Oklahoma and Stanley D. Lingar who was executed in February 2001 in Missouri, serious assumptions came up that their condemnation was particulary based on their homosexuality.
To summarise: heritage (geographic location), gender, poverty, sexual orientation and complexion determine who gets the death penalty in the U.S.
ECADP * Petra E. Richter * Postfach 13 26 *
46363 Bocholt * Germany
"Capital punishment: Them without the capital get the punishment".