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April 29 2012 | UNITED STATES

USA – The myth of deterrence

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One of the most frequently made claims about the death penalty is that it deters potential murderers. That was the claim when the Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. It is the claim today after a revival of research about the topic in the last decade.
But a distinguished committee of scholars working for the National Research Council has now reached the striking and convincing conclusion that all of the research about deterrence and the death penalty done in the past generation, including by some first-rank scholars at the most prestigious universities, should be ignored.
The committee found that the research “is not informative about whether capital punishment increases, decreases, or has no effect on homicide rates.” No study looks at what really matters, by comparing the deterrent effects of capital punishment with other penalties, like life without parole. A lot of the research assumes that “potential murderers respond to the objective risk of execution,” but only one in six of the people sentenced to death in the last 35 years have been executed and no study properly took that diminished risk into account.
“Nothing is known about how potential murderers actually perceive their risk of punishment,” said the criminologist Daniel Nagin, chairman of the committee.
The committee was careful to say what it did not examine, including the proven risk that an innocent person could be sentenced to death and the fact that the administration of capital punishment could well be discriminatory.
On Wednesday when Connecticut’s governor, Dannel Malloy, signed the state’s new law abolishing the death penalty, these problems were on his mind. As a former supporter of capital punishment, he said that he “came to believe that doing away with the death penalty was the only way to ensure it would not be unfairly imposed.”
The 33 states that retain the death penalty should follow that lead.

October 15 2016

Human rights activist asks Pope to discuss the death penalty with Lukashenka

Andrei Paluda, coordinator of the campaign "Human Rights Defenders against the Death Penalty in Belarus", has sent a letter to Pope Francis, asking him to touch upon the issue of capital punishment during his meeting with President Lukashenka.
October 10 2016
October 10,14th World Day Against the Death Penalty

On the 14th world day against the death penalty a conference entitled "No Justice Without Life" will be held in Japan

July 2 2016
Address and the Final Ceremony by Mario Marazziti. Nobel Peace Prize Room, City Hall. June 23rd 2016

CITIES FOR LIFE – CITIES AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY 6th World Congress Against the Death Penalty in Oslo

by Mario Marazziti
June 25 2016

Pope Francis: “Death penalty is unacceptable”

Pope Francis addresses the authorities, the associations, the activists and the civil society gathered in Oslo on the occasion of the World Congress Against the Death Penalty through a video message.
June 21 2016
The 6th Congress Against the Death Penalty opens today in Oslo

The Community of Sant'Egidio takes part in the congress with delegations from Italy, Congo, Belgium, Spain, Germany and Indonesia

1500 attendants coming from over 80 countries. Among them, 20 ministers, 200 diplomats, members of different parliaments, scholars, lawyers, members of various associations and civil society actors
May 25 2016
"The laws are not perfect and judges cannot make mistakes. When you think that laws are perfect, this is the beginning of injustice", said Mgr. Suharyo

Church and civil society against new executions

Jakarta is among the 15 cities in Indonesia where in the past years the event "Cities for Life, Cities against the Death Penalty" was held, organized by Sant'Egidio in over two thousand municipalities in the five continents
all related news

June 4 2016
The Washington Post

Meet the red-state conservatives fighting to abolish the death penalty
May 23 2016

Malaysian death row convict loses final appeal in Singapore
May 23 2016

Vescovo filippino: È presto per giudicare il contraddittorio Duterte. No alla pena di morte
May 14 2016

Pfizer blocca i farmaci per la pena di morte negli Usa
May 14 2016
La Stampa

Pena di morte, Pfizer blocca l’uso dei suoi farmaci per le iniezioni letali negli Usa
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Motion Grafic "cities for life" 2012 -
Motion Grafic cities for life FR -
Promo Engl 2013 citiesforlife -

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