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NCJ Number: 167003 Find in a Library
Title: Death Penalty as Cruel Treatment and Torture: Capital Punishment Challenged in the World's Courts
Author(s): W A Schabas
Date Published: 1996
Page Count: 314
Sponsoring Agency: Northeastern University Press
Boston, MA 02115
Publication Number: ISBN 1-55553-268-3
Sale Source: Northeastern University Press
Managing Manager
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This book reviews the history of the philosophical and legal interpretations of the death penalty as cruel treatment and torture and examines the relationship of contemporary human rights law to capital punishment litigation.
Abstract: The author argues that cruel treatment and torture are prohibited by virtually all contemporary international human rights instruments and by most national constitutions or bills of rights. Based on an in-depth analysis of capital punishment case law, this book explains why the incompatibility of the death penalty with the prohibition of cruel treatment has emerged as a major issue in rulings, declarations, and covenants by the world's courts, commissions, and committees. It examines various approaches to the application and interpretation of the norm, discussing the synergy between national and international tribunals that are examining the legality of the death penalty; for example, the U.S. Supreme Court declared the death penalty arbitrary and discriminatory in its 1972 ruling, Furman v. Georgia, a judgment later echoed in 1995 by the South African Constitutional Court, which found the death penalty to be arbitrary and unequal punishment. The author gives special attention to the ways in which the world's courts are grappling with the issue of implementing capital punishment. Particularly, he examines judgments by national and international tribunals that have declared the method of execution and death row incarceration to breach the norm that prohibits cruel treatment and torture. A 272-item bibliography and a subject index
Main Term(s): Court procedures
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Cruel and unusual punishment; International organizations; Torture
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