UN DEATH PENALTY VOTE CAN HELP STOP CYCLE OF REVENGE
SEPTEMBER 2007 (IPS) - Such is the world sentiment against the death
penalty -- with notable exceptions like the United States, China, and
Singapore -- that a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions
and the abolition of capital punishment is to go before the UN
General Assembly in October, writes Desmond Tutu, archbishop of Cape
Town, 1984 Nobel Peace laureate.
In this analysis, Tutu writes that the time has come to abolish the
death penalty worldwide. The case for abolition becomes more
compelling with each passing year. Everywhere experience shows us
that executions brutalise both those directly involved in the process
and the society that carries them out. Nowhere has it been shown that
the death penalty reduces crime or political violence.
In country after country, it is used disproportionately against the
poor or against racial or ethnic minorities. It is often used as a
tool of political repression. It is imposed and inflicted
arbitrarily. It is irrevocable and results inevitably in the
execution of people innocent of any crime. It is a violation of
fundamental human rights.