Executions in 2018: min. 690 plus 'thousands' in China

Does the death penalty act as a deterrent?

No valid study of the death penalty has never shown a deterrent effect. Statistical investigations and their scientific analyses could not deliver proof that the death penalty has a deterrent effect.

There is no evidence that the abolishment of the death penalty would increase the number of violent crimes and murders.

Through an investigation done by the United Nations, which was publicized in 1980, no substantive proof was found that speaks for the maintaining of the death penalty.

Albert Pierrepoint who was an executioner for 25 years in the United Kingdom said: 'All the men and woman whom I stood before during their last moment have not convinced me, that through my task, I could prevent a single murder.'

In countries in which the death penalty was abolished, no increase in violent crime could be determined. To the contrary: In a study from 1983, the number of murders were analysed from 14 countries in which the death penalty was abolished. The result was that after the abolishment, the rate of murder was reduced by half.

A New Yorker study about murders undertaken in 1980 shows that between 1903 and 1963 after each execution, an increase of 2 murders per month were registered.     

In Canada the amount of murders in 2001 was 554, a figure 23% lower than in 1975 (721), one year before the death penalty was abolished.

The death penalty also does not scare off potential terrorists from their intentions. Psychologists who did a study about aircraft hijacking, strongly recommend not making use of the death penalty in such cases, as that will make the crime appear even more spectacular. In a hopeless situation a terrorist is more likely to destroy everything at random if he knows that he will face the death penalty. The death penalty can even encourage such crimes, which it is actually supposed to prevent. In 1975, 5 terrorists were executed in Spain, whereupon in the following 2 weeks 9 police officers were shot.

So the death penalty has a tendency to act as bestial rather than as a deterrent, because it sends out a clear signal to the community that under certain conditions, the state considers the killing of people as being justified.

Become involved

If you would love to do something against the death penalty but you just don’t have the time to become an active member of an organization and pen friendships have never been just the thing for you?  

There are many different ways one can become involved. We’ve collected a few ideas what can be done on these pages.