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: