Living in a country where crime rate is fairly low and the death penalty has been abolished for nearly 20 years, it is easy to forget the people are dying for their crimes all over the world. In fact, we only need look at our neighbours to the south to find cases of capital punishment. Although these aren’t necessarily the best examples to support our case as to why we should be debating the use of the death penalty at HMSUN 2017. Instead we will look to other countries around the globe.
Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was brought into effect in 1976, states that “In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time….” Since then, a second optional protocol and several resolutions have been passed in an effort to further abolish the use of the death penalty. The covenant has 74 signatories and 168 parties. Almost every nation on earth has pledged its support of these civil and political rights, yet in places like present day Indonesia capital punishment is still seen being used to sentence drug related crimes. A similar situation is seen in Iran, where in 2014 the Iranian government executed at least 753 people, some of which were minors. A report published in October of 2015 stated there were as many as 8,300 persons on death row in Pakistan at the time, hundreds of which were sentenced as children.
It is also important to recognize that how these executions are being carried out is just as concerning as the shear number of souls destined for death row. Primitive and torturous methods of executions are still seen around the world. For example in 2015, and Iranian women was sentenced to death by stoning for complications in her husbands murder.
It is evident with a quick google search that capital punishment is still abundant around the world, despite the fact that about 82% of countries around the world have introduced moratoria by law or claim to have abolished the act.
And so we ask: Should government still be allowed to sentence their citizens to death for their crimes? Should humans have a right to life? How do we ensure that human rights are being upheld? How do we ensure trials are conducted fairly and thoroughly? How do we work towards abolishing the death penalty, when previous legislations have failed to hold governments accountable?