Today (10 October 2020) is the 18th World and European Day Against the Death Penalty
Amnesty is opposed to the use of the death penalty in all circumstances and we have campaigned for many years against the practice. There has been a gradual decline but still there are too many countries which continue the barbaric practice. It is neither humane nor effective. It does not deter violent crime or murder and studies in America have shown that there is no difference in murder rates between those states which retain the penalty and those that don’t.
While working towards the total and complete abolition of the death penalty worldwide for all crimes, it is crucial to alert civil society and the international community to the necessity that, at all stages of the legal proceedings, those facing the cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment of execution should at least have access to effective legal representation. Such legal aid can provide the basic protection of either avoiding the sentence or appealing the verdict.
Statement by the Secretary General of the EU.