Amnesty International rejects MP's death penalty call
Responding to news that some Northern Ireland MPs are supporting a call for a debate in the House of Commons on the reintroduction of the death penalty, Patrick Corrigan, Northern Ireland Programme Director of Amnesty International said:
"Capital punishment is a relic of the past and that is where it should stay. There are many important issues warranting a Commons debate. The death penalty is not one of them.
If there is a Parliamentary debate, Amnesty International will be reminding MPs of its cruelty, its arbitrariness (rich people with good lawyers do not usually receive the death penalty) and of how any capital justice system makes terrible mistakes.
MPs should also be aware of the total lack of convincing evidence that the death penalty is a deterrent against crime.
139 countries have formally abolished the death penalty or no longer use it. Of those that cling on to it, China is by far the biggest user, followed by Iran and countries like Saudi Arabia, North Korea and Yemen. Do some MPs really want us to join this club?
When more and more countries are abandoning the death penalty around the world, it would be a huge backward step to consider seriously its reintroduction here. However, I am confident that any informed debate would lead to people dropping their support for judicial killing."