Against the Death Penalty. International Initiatives and Implications

This edited volume brings together leading scholars on the death penalty within international, regional and municipal law. It considers the intrinsic elements of both the promotion and demise of the punishment around the world, and provides analysis which contributes to the evolving abolitionist discourse. The contributors consider the current developments within the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the African Commission and the Commonwealth Caribbean, and engage with the emergence of regional norms promoting collective restriction and renunciation of the punishment. They investigate perspectives and questions for retentionist countries, focusing on the United States, China, Korea and Taiwan, and reveal the iniquities of contemporary capital judicial systems. Emphasis is placed on the issues of transparency of municipal jurisdictions, the jurisprudence on the ‘death row phenomenon’ and the changing nature of public opinion. The volume surveys and critiques the arguments used to scrutinize the death penalty to then offer a detailed analysis of possible replacement sanctions. Contents: Preface; Introduction, Roger Hood; Part I Regional Conspectus and Analysis: The United Nations and abolition of the death penalty, William A. Schabas; The evolving human rights discourse of the Council of Europe: renouncing the sovereign right of the death penalty, Jon Yorke; Taking the death penalty debate further: the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, Lilian Chenwi; Challenging the death penalty in the Caribbean: litigation at the Privy Council, Quincy Whitaker. Part II Perspectives and Questions for Retentionist Countries: Constraining America’s death penalty: the 8th Amendment and excessive punishment, Julian Killingley; Walking the 8th Amendment tightrope: ‘time served’ in the United States Supreme Court, Jane Marriott; A crisis of confidence: Americans’ doubts about the death penalty, Richard C. Dieter; The death penalty in China: towards the rule of law, Nicola Macbean; The abolitionist movement in death penalty-friendly Asia: the cases of South Korea and Taiwan, Sangmin Bae. Part III Overview of Abolition Strategies and Alternatives to the Death Penalty: Capital punishment: a review and critique of abolition strategies, Peter Hodgkinson, Seema Kandelia and Lina Gyllensten; A fate worse than death? The problems with life imprisonment as an alternative to the death penalty, Rachael Stokes; Index. gg