Friday, November 6, 2015 1:20 pm
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-Moon, says he is deeply concerned that some UN member states are sentencing more people to death and others are resuming executions.
In his remarks at the launch of a book: “Moving Away From the Death Penalty’’ on Thursday in New York, Ban said he would continue to stand with innocent people sent to death row.
He said “I will never stop calling for an end to the death penalty.
“I will press all leaders to join Italy and the many other countries that have a principled position and refuse to kill in the name of the state.
“This book contains a great deal of information, but it makes no prediction on when the death penalty will be abolished globally. That is up to us.
“Let us write new chapter so that the next edition may treat the death penalty the way we now treat public executions, as an aberration that is shunned in our world.’’
The UN chief noted that there would always be wrongful convictions, but when states impose the death penalty in such cases, they also kill any hope for justice.
No one, he said, had proven that the death penalty even deter crime.
He stated that “we cannot base justice on financial considerations. But even a cost analysis shows that the death penalty has a higher price tag than imprisonment.
“The only exception is a quick execution and that would only happen without safeguards, meaning more innocent people would be denied their right to life.
“That cost is too high for any society to bear.’’
Even with safeguards, he explained, the long delays amounted to cruel punishment and many victims’ families do not support the death penalty.
The harsh reality was that death penalty discriminates, he stressed.
Ban added that study after study proved that the poor, the minority and the mentally disabled were at higher risk, regardless of guilt or innocence.
According to him, that is simply wrong, no national interest can justify any violation of human rights.
“When we safeguard the human rights of the most vulnerable, we promote more peaceful, just and stable conditions for all,’’ he said.