The Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal decision ends years of confusion over the status of prisoners on death row.
The Malawi court’s decision provides a roadmap for future challenges to the death penalty in other southern African countries.
Courts have failed to understand the role childhood trauma can play in adult criminal behaviour.
The execution of Lisa Montgomery in the U.S. earlier this year demonstrates how society misunderstands the effects of mental illness and trauma on criminal behaviour.
The federal death chamber at the U.S. Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana, as seen in April 1995.
AP Photo/Chuck Robinson
The most commonly used justification for capital punishment is not actually supported by evidence.
Four of the 10 federal prisoners executed this year: Wesley Purkey, killed July 16; Dustin Honken, killed July 17; Brandon Bernard, killed Dec. 10; and Alfred Bourgeois, killed Dec. 11. In some cases, survivors of their victims addressed the court.
Victim impact statements give survivors a voice in the criminal justice process. But research shows their wrenching personal testimonies may not bring closure and can add racial bias into sentencing.
The lethal injection chamber at a California prison.
Wally Skalij/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
The promised benefits of lethal injection – a quick, painless death – have never come true. There’s not even agreement about which drugs are best for executions.
People who oppose the death penalty cannot serve on juries in those cases.
Crazy City Lady/Shutterstock.com
Should all-white juries be permitted in death penalty cases involving black defendants?
Could using the guillotine be more humane than execution by lethal injection?
Many recent executions in the US by lethal injections have resulted in prolonged suffering before death. A historian asks: Could the guillotine be a preferable method?
Anne Boleyn (with head in situ).
How long does the brain remain conscious after decapitation?
George Stinney, a 14-year old wrongfully executed for murder in 1944.
M. Watt Espy Papers, University at Albany
The National Death Penalty Archive collects documents and paraphernalia behind the thousands of executions that have taken place on American soil.
Indonesian activists hold candles during a candlelight protest against death penalty executions, outside the presidential palace in Jakarta in 2016.
Research shows the deterrent effect of capital punishment is a myth.
Pope Francis said the death penalty, can never be sanctioned because it ‘attacks’ the inherent dignity of all humans.
AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file
Pope Francis has said that death penalty violates the dignity of a person. But, this might just deepen the debate among Christians, who for a long time have been divided over the issue.
Youssef Rabih Youssef/EPA
The British home secretary has decided not to seek assurances from the US that it wouldn’t use the death penalty for an IS duo arrested in Syria. This must be opposed.
Iwao Hakamada in 2014.
Iwao Hakamada was tried for quadruple murder in 1966, but the evidence that convicted him is regarded with widespread scepticism.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa opposes capital punishment.
Survey shows Zimbabwean policy makers need not fear a public backlash if they choose to abolition of the death penalty.
Kenya Wildlife Service rangers on patrol at the Meru National Park.
Kenya’s death penalty proposal is not the quick fix solution to curb wildlife poaching.
Aum Shinrikyo cult leader Shoko Asahara at the time of his sentencing in 2004.
The 1995 Tokyo sarin attack helped make Japanese criminal justice dramatically more punitive.
A petition calls for clemency on a convicted drug trafficker sentenced to death in 2010.
Singapore claims to have nearly eliminated drug use and crime thanks to capital punishment - but the data tells a very different story.
Vietnam War protests led to a lower voting age. The Parkland shooting could push similar reevaluations.
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
Teens’ brains develop different skills along a predictable timeline. These milestones should influence the legal age boundaries for voting, buying guns and being put to death.
The newly completed execution chamber at Ely State Prison in Ely, Nevada.
Nevada Department of Corrections via AP
Nevada plans to use a new drug protocol for executing Scott Dozier, who murdered a 22-year-old. A scholar explains why this is problematic.
In the Western world, the U.S. is one of only one of two countries with capital punishment, and support remains strongest in the ‘Bible Belt’. Here’s a look at the historic arguments within Christian communities over the death penalty.