UN Calls for Moratorium on Death Penalty in Iraq

A new U.N. report on the death penalty in Iraq says it is fueling the violence and a moratorium should be imposed.

The report says executions in Iraq have been increasing at an alarming pace and that is applied unfairly:

Judges often pass death sentences based on evidence from disputed confessions or secret informants, condemning suspects who are unaware of their rights, may have been tortured and have no defense attorney until they arrive in court, the report said.


"Far from providing justice to the victims of acts of violence and terrorism and their families, miscarriages of justice merely compound the effects of the crime by potentially claiming the life of another innocent person and by undermining any real justice that the victims and families might have received," the report said.

It also does not deter violence:

The report said the Iraqi government's view that the death penalty deterred violence "appears not to be valid given the deteriorating security situation over the past years" and said the executions appeared to be merely a reaction to the violence.

It added that the death penalty would not deter extremists who were prepared to die to achieve their objectives.

The report also calls on Kurdistan to move from a moratorium on the death penalty to abolishing it.

The U.N. press release on the report is here. The full report is here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Yeah, that's great, but (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by NYShooter on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 02:21:51 PM EST
    what's with the narrow request (just Iraq?)

    You just had a story about Saudi Arabia beheading its citizens en masse, and on a regular basis, as if it were Friday night at the bingo parlor.

    And, ISIS is running around torturing, raping, and beheading anyone, and anything, with a heartbeat. I'm not sure, but I think the minimum age for beheadings is five, and rape, four (not sure about the four.) Simple battery, unlimited number of broken bones allowed....infants must be above one year old, but, umbilical cords have no minimum age.

    So........ (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by Zorba on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 03:51:33 PM EST
    When will the UN call for a moratorium on the death penalty in the United States, given our recent examples of botched executions involving lethal injections?

    The Saudis pump a lot of money (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jondee on Mon Oct 20, 2014 at 06:05:20 PM EST
    into that bingo parlor otherwise known as the Clinton Foundation among many other places..

    It's the oldest kind of slow societal reform in the world. As in, the reforming of the perceptions of others through a liberal application of grease.

    When was the last time we heard about executions in China?


    There are usually three things... (none / 0) (#1)
    by toggle on Sun Oct 19, 2014 at 11:08:47 PM EST
    Cited in favor of the death penalty. Deterrence and punishment are covered by these arguments. But I notice nothing said about incapacitating the bad guys. That seems like a hole in the argument given Iraq's long history of mass jailbreaks.

    Also, when the justice system can't deal effectively with terrorists, there's a strong incentive to just kill suspected terrorists rather than try to capture them. That seems to be the policy of our own government for the last eight or ten years or so.