Despite the international trend towards the abolition of capital punishment, 23 countries still carried out executions in 2010. In many cases the death penalty is imposed after unfair trials and for non-lethal crimes, such as: drug-related offences, economic crimes, sexual relations between consenting adults and blasphemy. Nevertheless, non-abolitionist countries claim that their use of the punishment is consistent with international human rights law. Sophistry knows no limits when it comes to defending the death penalty: legal, economic, even religious and moral arguments have been used to defend what in reality is an atrocious crime. We shall take a look at the various arguments in support of the capital punishment and see if they can stand their ground upon a more thorough analysis.
Keywords death penalty  criminal law  human rights  unfair trials  abolitionism
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