Against the Death Penalty Essay

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The Death Penalty

Human rights are fundamental rights which every human being is
entitled to just because they are human.

The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human
rights. It is the cold blooded killing of a human being in the name of
‘justice’. In 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights; in Articles 3 and 5 it states that “no
one shall be subjected to cruel or degrading punishment and everyone
has the right to life and liberty”. The death penalty violates both of
these fundamental rights.

The United Nations Rights Commission (UNHRC) has passed a resolution
calling for all nations that continue executions, to restrict the
number of
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They are:

- The Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights aiming at abolition of the death penalty, which
has now been ratified by 53 states. Nine other states have signed the
Protocol, indicating their intention to become parties to it at a
later date;

- Protocol No. 6 to the European Convention for the Protection of
Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms concerning the abolition of the
death penalty, which has now been ratified by 44 European states and
signed by one other; and the

- Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the
Death Penalty, which has been ratified by eight states.

Protocol No. 6 concerns the abolition of the death penalty in
peacetime, whereas the other two protocols provide for the total
abolition of the death penalty but allow States wishing to do so to
keep the death penalty in wartime.

A recent study found African American defendants were almost 4 times
more likely to receive the death penalty than people of other origins
who committed similar crimes. This inequality breaches Article 7 of
the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Article 14 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, “All are equal
before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to equal
protection of the law”. In the…