The Death Penalty: A World-Wide Perspective

The Death Penalty: A World-Wide Perspective

The Death Penalty: A World-Wide Perspective

The Death Penalty: A World-Wide Perspective

Synopsis

In the six years which have elapsed since publication of the first edition many changes have taken place in respect of the death penalty; the number of countries which have abolished the death penalty has increased at an unprecedented rate although a few have re-introduced it; the range of offenses subject to the death penalty has contracted in many countries, but expanded in others; there are new facts to report on the number of executions carried out; much more is known about the extent to which states abide by the United Nation's Safeguards Guaranteeing Protection of the Rights of Those Facing the Death Penalty; and much has been published particularly in the United States of America on the legal, ethical and practical aspects of administering capital punishment and on public attitudes towards it. The time is therefore right for a new edition and in preparing it Dr Hood has thoroughly revised and updated the whole work.

Excerpt

This is not the first time that a world-wide review of the death penalty has been carried out. It follows, after a long interval, the reports entitled Capital Punishment (1962), covering the years 1956 to 1960, written by Marc Ancel, Conseiller a la Cour de Cassation of France and Director of the Criminal Science Section of the Institute of Comparative Law of Paris, and Capital Punishment:
Developments 1961-1965
(1967), written by Norval Morris, Professor of Law and Criminology and Director of the Centre for Studies in Criminal Justice, University of Chicago. Both of these inquiries, which still deserve to be studied, were based on replies to a questionnaire sent by the Secretary-General to all member states of the United Nations and to certain non-member states. After the 'Morris report' was published the United Nations continued to send questionnaires in order to survey developments every five years. The first edition of this report The Death Penalty:
A World-Wide Perspective
, which was published in 1989, was based on the findings of three quinquennial surveys conducted by the United Nations, covering the years 1969-73, 1974-78, and 1979-83. It was supplemented by the returns obtained in 1987 from a survey carried out by the United Nations on the extent to which various safeguards relating to the imposition of the death penalty in retentionist countries were being observed. In addition, information was gleaned from many individuals and from a survey of the published literature, including the reports and archives of Amnesty International, to which I was given generous access.

2. This new edition has employed the same method. It has been possible to draw on the United Nations Fourth and Fifth Quinquennial Surveys, covering the years 1984-88 and 1989-93, together with information from many other sources relating to the period up to the end of 1995.

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