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Peter Benenson, first launched Amnesty International

The effects of the death penalty go beyond the immediate cruelty to the prisoner and into the prisoner's family, to the prison guards, and to the officials who must carry out the execution. Studies have shown that the role of executioner may be a very traumatic experience. In addition, judges, prosecutors and other court officials may very well be experiencing dilemmas if the death penalty conflicts with their own ethical viewpoint (Amnesty International Online, Human Rights. . . , 2002). Moreover, while lethal injection avoids some of the problems inherent in other methods of execution, it still involves medical personnel in the practice of killing for the state, which is a breach of long-standing medical ethics (Amnesty International, 2000).

Beyond the effects on the victims and their families are the known uses of the death penalty against child offenders. International human rights treaties and conventions prohibit the sentence of the death penalty to anyone who was under the age of 18 when they committed the crime. Yet, since 1990, seven countries are known to have executed prisoners who were minors when they first committed the crime for which they were sentenced. These countries included Congo, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and the United States (15 since 1990) (Amnesty International Website. . ., 2002).

Safeguards adopted in 1989 not only reiterated that the death penalty only used for the most serious of crimes (if at all), but also that it eliminate the penalty for anyone who has become insane or who suffers from mental retardation or extremely limited mental competence. Again, there have been many documented cases in which these restrictions have been ignored, especially in the United States, and those who are mentally incompetent have been sentenced and executed (Amnesty International Online, Human Rights. . ., 2002).

Capital punishment is sometimes assumed to be a deterrent to crime, terrorism...

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Peter Benenson, first launched Amnesty International. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 23:39, August 18, 2017, from
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