Our commitment

The abolition of death penalty is one of the areas of global commitment of Community Sant’ Egidio. Being an extreme summary of the human rights’ violations, death penalty represents a form of torture. It contradicts the rehabilitation vision of justice, legitimates violence and perpetuates it. Often, it becomes instrument to hit political, ethnic or religious minorities. Moreover, when a State kills in the name of the law, it lowers the level of its legislative system to the level of those who kill.
Our work starts from prisons and death row, from people who live the tragedy of the death penalty. For many years we have created a human network of relationships, visits and correspondence with many prisoners, trying not to forget anyone and to accompany their difficult existences. By following their cases, one uncomfortable truth emerged: the judicial errors, as a result of summary trials or of superficial defenses.
In order to contribute to the progress in the number of countries that refuse death penalty as means of justice, we have elaborated new strategies:


The appeals sent to Governors or to various authorities can help obtaining pain commutation or revision of the case. With just a signature, one can help saving a life. Continue
Cities for Life - Against the Death Penalty
It is a net of cities that promotes abolition of death penalty and the culture of life. A characteristic of cities for life is the illumination of a monument-symbol and other cultural initiatives. You may adhere to citiesforlife Continue
They are spaces for dialoguing, debating and searching for new ways for a more human management of justice. There are laboratories that involve countries and abolitionists in a common work. There are international workshops in abolitionist key. Continue
write to someone on death row
“I thank you because, even if you don’t know me, you gave me your compassion. Your letters came into this world of darkness and made the difference in my life. You gave me hope”. Continue