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October 18, 2020

World day against death penalty

Islamabad

October 18, 2020

Today people around the world, who strongly advocate that the death penalty should be abolished, are marking the day in all forums so their voice can be heard and law makers change this inhumane practice by which criminals are punished for their crimes. The degree of success over their efforts has shown results in some countries/states where the death penalty has been discontinued. The link between political rights and abolition of the death penalty is illustrated by the fact that countries with higher literacy rates and developed economies were least likely to have the death penalty. For instance capital punishment has been completely abolished in all European countries except for Belarus and Russia, the latter of which has a moratorium and has not conducted an execution since 1999.

There is an ongoing debate over the effectiveness of the death penalty. Supporters – and there are many – believe that ‘a life for a life/lives’ is a deterrent and will make criminals think twice before they act, the recent fervour in Pakistan over the issue of rapists being hanged being a case in point. Those who are against this form of punishment believe that it has no effect on criminal minds otherwise there would have been a marked decrease in crimes that require stiff reprisal. They feel that it is better for the person who is being sentenced if he is incarcerated and allowed to think about his actions.

World Day against the Death Penalty is marked on October 10th every year. It is a day to advocate for the abolition of the death penalty and to raise awareness of the conditions and the circumstances which affect prisoners with death sentences. The day was first organized by the World Coalition against the Death Penalty in 2003.