February 7, 2007
Death Penalty in U.S. Under Scrutiny
Israel Rafalovich, U.N. OBSERVER & International Report
The death penalty in the United States is under scrutiny.
A third of thirty eight U.S. states that have the death penalty have delayed
execution while legal and ethical challenges are underway. In several
states, lawmakers and courts are currently debating whether the inmates on
death row unduly suffer during execution, in violation of the American
constitution that guaranties against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 2006, the state of Florida halted executions after a convicted killer
took thirty four minutes to die when the needles carrying the drugs were
Surveys in the United States indicate that a majority of the American public
supports capital punishment, but this number has dropped since in several
states the courts adopted the option of life without parole.
Last week, the European Parliament voted on a proposal for a worldwide ban
on the death penalty, a move that was also backed by France and Germany.
This week a conference in Paris will discuss the subject, and will focus
especially on North Africa and the Middle East.
It will also deal with worrying calls for return to capital punishment in
European countries such as Poland.
Please also see:
Israel Rafalovich: E.U. to Push for Global Death Penalty Ban
World Coalition against the death penalty
Globalizing the fight against the death penalty
Source : U.N. OBSERVER & International Report