Why is the death penalty not considered murder?

death penalty Five myths are debunked

MYTH

The death penalty discourages crime and makes society safer.

FACT

There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty is more dissuasive than other penalties.

More than 30 years after the death penalty was abolished, the homicide rate in Canada is over a third lower than in 1976.

A 35-year study compared Hong Kong, which has no death penalty, to Singapore. Singapore has roughly the same population density and regularly carries out death sentences. The death penalty has little effect on the crime rate.


MYTH

The death penalty is an effective way to avoid terrorist attacks.

FACT

The threat of execution hardly scares off people who are willing to kill and injure for political or ideological ends.

Some counterterrorism experts have repeatedly suggested that those executed are considered martyrs; their glorification serves to mobilize their ideology and their organization.

Armed resistance groups also use the death penalty as a justification for retaliation, which continues the spiral of violence.


MYTH

The death penalty is legitimate as long as it is popularly supported.

FACT

History is steeped in human rights violations supported by a majority of the population - but which in retrospect can be viewed with horror.

Slavery, racial segregation and lynchings have all been supported by the societies in which they occur, yet have been massive human rights violations. It is the duty of governments to protect the rights of all individuals. Even if that sometimes means doing it against the view of the majority.

Furthermore, public opinion can change, depending on political leadership and depending on whether the population receives objective information about the death penalty.


MYTH

All those executed are guilty of serious crimes.

FACT

Hundreds of people are executed each year for unfair negotiations around the world. For example, “confessions” are extracted under torture, access to a lawyer or legal aid are denied.

In China, Iran and Iraq in particular, which carry out executions most frequently, there are great doubts about the justice of their judicial systems.

The layoffs of 144 death row inmates in the US since 1973 show that the judicial system can always be wrong - no matter how many legal hurdles are raised. As long as people make mistakes, it cannot be ruled out that innocent people will be executed.


MYTH

It is the bereaved of murder victims who demand the death penalty.

FACT

In the global movement against the death penalty, there are many active people who have lost loved ones to violent crimes or were victims of violence themselves. For ethical or religious reasons, however, they do not want the death penalty to be pronounced in “their name”. In the US, these are organizations like the Murder Victims ’Families for Human Rights in New Hampshire, which lead the movement against the death penalty.