Friday, 7 January 2011

Death Penalty Developments

  • The General Assembly, on 21 December 2010, adopted the resolution on the moratorium on the use of the death penalty, by a recorded vote of 109 in favour to 41 against, with 35 abstentions. By comparison, the 2008 resolution was adopted by 106 in favour, and 46 against, with 34 abstentions. The 2007 resolution was adopted by 104 in favour, with 54 against and 29 abstentions. In other words, over three years, the number of States supporting the resolution has increased by five, and the number opposing it has decreased by 13, many of which now abstain
  • The Illinois House of Representatives voted yesterday to abolish the death penalty in an unexpected development, described in the Washington Post as a 'whirlwind reversal on a historic vote'.  The resolution was not expected to pass. Now it should succeed in the Senate without difficulty. It also requires the governor's consent, which is a bit unpredictable, given that he had not accepted the legislation to succeed in the House. See also the report in the Chicago Tribune.
  • On 16 December 2010, the European Parliament's resolution on  the  Annual Report on Human Rights in the World 2009 and the European Union's policy on the matter (2010/2202(INI)) 65, contains the following

Notes that there are 32 jurisdictions in the world with laws allowing the death penalty to be applied for drug offences; notes that United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the European Commission and individual European governments are actively involved in funding and/or delivering technical assistance, legislative support and financial aid intended to strengthen drug enforcement activities in states that retain the death penalty for drug enforcement; is concerned that such assistance could lead towards increased death sentences and executions; calls on the Commission to develop guidelines governing international funding for country-level and regional drug enforcement activities to ensure such programmes do not result in human rights violations, including the application of the death penalty; stresses that the abolition of the death penalty for drug-related offences should be made a precondition for financial assistance, technical assistance, capacity-building and other support for drug enforcement...
Thanks to Rick Lines, Brian Farrell and Diane Amann.

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