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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77043 Find in a Library
Title: United Nations Norms and Guidelines in Criminal Justice - From Standard-setting to Implementation, and Capital Punishment - Capital Punishment
Corporate Author: United Nations
United States of America
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 33
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
United Nations
New York, NY 10017
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Survey (Cross-Cultural)
Language: English
Country: United Nations
Annotation: This working paper by the Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders has been prepared to help the congress fulfill the U.N. General Assembly's mandate to examine the use of capital punishment and its possible restriction.
Abstract: The topics discussed are United Nations action in the field of capital punishment; capital punishment in law and in fact; legal provisions concerning the reduction or abolition of capital punishment; rules relating to the pardoning of capital offenders; the experience of countries which have abolished capital punishment; current governmental, intergovernmental, nongovernmental, and popular initiatives to abolish capital punishment; and possible further steps for the abolition of capital punishment. The General Assembly's resolution 2393 (XXIII) noted that there has been a worldwide tendency towards a reduction in the number of categories of offenses for which capital punishment could be imposed, that there has been an overall trend towards fewer executions, and that there is a strong trend in most countries toward the abolition of capital punishment. Research indicates, however, a trend toward an increase in laws creating capital offenses, in the number of death sentences imposed, and in the number of executions in many countries. The experience of the countries which have abolished capital punishment and the failure of the proponents of the death penalty to provide conclusive evidence for its deterrent effect over and above the one obtainable by the threat of long-term imprisonment indicate that the main consideration need not be a concern for the effective enforcement of criminal law. Instead, the primary issue is whether the custom of taking a life in the name of retribution, incapacitation, and an unsubstantiated deterrent effect on others can be abandoned out of respect for the dignity of every person and the right of life, as stated in the basic postulates of the United Nations. States throughout the world that have abolished capital punishment are listed; 64 footnotes are provided.
Index Term(s): Capital punishment; Deterrence; Multinational studies; Trend analysis; United Nations (UN)
Note: Working paper prepared by the Secretariat for the Sixth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Caracas, Venezuela, 25 August to 5 September 1980.
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