The Abolition of Death - You Can Live and Not Die!

17th World Day Against the Death Penalty: Children, Unseen Victims
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Opposition to the death penalty attracts bi-partisan political support. Yet in a region where many of our closest neighbours still maintain the death penalty, I believe Australia can - and should - take a stronger stand against state sanctioned execution. There are many convincing arguments against the death penalty. Our Prime Minister opposes the death penalty for 'pragmatic reasons' because 'the law makes mistakes'.

The rationale that the death penalty acts as a deterrent has been discredited and dismissed. In fact, the chilling response of one of the Bali Bombers' to his death sentence - 'it will be a martyr's death and that is what I am looking for' 2 reminds us that, for terrorists, the prospect of the death penalty may even serve as an incentive.

Ultimately, I believe, the most compelling argument against the death penalty is simply that we should respect the sanctity of human life. The belief that we should respect the inherent dignity and value of human life is the foundation of all human rights and reflects a deeply held moral vision of the type of world we want to live in.

Justice Michael Kirby has written that 'the death penalty brutalises the State that carries it out. Public servants must prepare the messy business of the termination of human life [the death penalty] is a left over from an earlier and more barbaric time'. We are lucky then, as Justice Kirby observes, that 'we have set ourselves upon a path to a higher form of civilisation'. Yet recent events - the fate of Nguyen Tuong Van and the news that members of the 'Bali nine' will face execution - confirms that even though Australia is an abolitionist country, the issue of the death penalty still concerns Australians, and, perhaps most importantly, the Australian Government.

In an era where law enforcement requires international cooperation Australian commitment to the universal abolition of the death penalty should be uncompromising - not vary from case-to-case depending on the crime, citizenship and country. We need to make sure that our mutual assistance and agency assistance arrangements reflect Australia's commitment to abolishing the death penalty. The question is, having set ourselves upon a path to a higher civilisation, are we prepared to go the distance? Are we prepared to oppose the death penalty wherever and whenever it occurs?

While the ICCPR recognises the right to life as a fundamental and non-derogable right, international human rights law does not require countries that retain the death penalty to abolish it, although it severely restricts its use.

Joseph Prince - Fear Not! Death Is Conquered! - 27 Dec 15

Countries which have not yet abolished the death penalty can only impose a death sentence following the final judgment of a competent court and only if a right to amnesty, pardon or commutation exist. However, the obligations of countries that have abolished the death penalty and ratified the Second Optional Protocol are much more stringent. As a signatory to the 2nd Optional Protocol Australia can not reintroduce the death penalty and must ensure that no one within Australia's jurisdiction is executed.

Australia's obligation to protect individuals within its jurisdiction from the application of the death penalty is not as straight forward as simply abolishing the death penalty in all Australian jurisdictions. In a region where many of our nearest neighbours maintain the mandatory death penalty for a wide range of offences it is inevitable that occasionally Australians will find themselves on death row.

And, in rare circumstances, Australians may find themselves facing the death penalty in a foreign country as a result of the actions of Australia.

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There has, for example, been considerable media coverage about the question of whether or not the actions of the Australian Federal Police exposed members of the so-called 'Bali Nine' to the risk of the death penalty. This raises the issue of how Australia should respond to a request for assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions when providing assistance may expose a person to the risk of the death penalty.

There are two key ways in which Australia can provide a foreign country with information about a criminal investigation or prosecution.

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The death penalty has been one of many examples where racial discrimination has played out. Not according to the research. We urge particularly the importance of restricting the easy availability of guns and other weapons of violence. But it has become a defining issue for him, widening the dividing line between California and the policies of President Trump, who has spoken out in favor of the death penalty, even for drug dealers. This link is provided solely for the user's convenience. Subsequently in the Court upheld death sentences imposed under state statutes which had been revised by state legislatures in the hope of meeting the Court's requirement that the death penalty not be imposed arbitrarily.

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Recently Popular Media x. A jury should not only be convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that the condemned did it, but also that they deserve their punishment. In the separate penalty phase of a trial, where the question is not guilt or innocence, but life or death as punishment, a jury should be left with no lingering doubt -- no real doubt, however irrational -- about the convicted killer's guilt.

Even this should not be enough to condemn a vicious predator to die. A nearly unanimous jury should be convinced with no "lingering or residual doubt" that the convicted murderer did it, and to "a moral certainty" that he or she deserves to die for it. No state has adopted this higher, special burden of persuasion, but they should. Lethal injection -- which grabs headlines these days -- never was and never will be a good execution method.

The execution scene I witnessed resembled final goodbyes at a hospital or hospice for the terminally ill. The dying person lies on a gurney, wrapped in white sheets, an IV attached, surrounded by medical technicians with loved ones in attendance.

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We should oppose lethal injection, not because it might cause pain, but because it certainly causes confusion, wantonly merging punishment and treatment. Robert Blecker. The firing squad seems to me the best of traditional methods, but a state might give a member of the victim's family a choice among available constitutional options. In any case, when we do punish we should be clear and make it clear that we are punishing. We should reconnect the punishment to the crime. Before or after the condemned makes a final statement, the victim's family or friends may display a brief audiovisual memorial of the victim's life.

We should make punishment honest and overt. Let's take a hard look at inmates' prison lifestyle. Most vicious killers a jury condemns to die will never be executed.

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And even those we do kill, will live out much of their lives on death row. For the worst of the worst whom we have condemned, daily life on death row should be their punishment. Their conditions should be no better than what corrections reserve for lesser criminals who commit additional offenses inside prison and are additionally punished with punitive or administrative segregation.

It's obscene today that sometimes our condemned killers inside prison live better than our working innocent poor in society. Specifically, within constitutional bounds, those we condemned to die or live a life in prison with no chance of parole -- the worst of the worst -- should be allowed only the minimum constitutionally mandated exercise, phone calls, or physical contact.

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This trauma can occur at any and all stages of the capital punishment of a parent: arrest, trial, Stigmatization from the community in which they live and the loss of a parent at the hands of a state all countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes Organize a demonstration: a sit-in, a 'die-in', a flash mob. Ironically, with the death penalty, we are not talking about time, we are talking about “We can't give back a life once it is taken, and for one I would prefer a If they don't die, a captain takes a pistol and shoots them in the head. Help us abolish the death penalty everywhere by becoming a regular giver.

They should not be permitted any communal form of recreation or play. For the rest of their lives, their food should be nutraloaf, nutritionally complete and tasteless. Photographs of their victims should be posted in their cells, out of reach, in visibly conspicuous places. Prison administration should make every effort to connect punishment to crime.