Death penalty

Weltkarte der Todesstrafe. Farbschlüssel: Blau: Für alle Straftaten abgeschafft. Hellblau: Für gewöhnliche Straftaten abgeschafft (jedoch nicht in Kriegszeiten). Grün: Seit mindestens 10 Jahren keine Anwendung. Orange: Anwendung gegen Erwachsene. Rot: Anwendung auch gegen Jugendliche.
map of the world of the death penalty. Color key:
Blue: For all criminal offences abolished.
Light blue: For usual criminal offences abolished (however not in times of war).
Green: Since at least 10 years no application.
Orange: Application against adults.
Red: Application also against young people.

The death penalty is the legally planned killing of humans as punishment for a crime, whose it was found guilty. You usually precede one legal proceedings , which end with an official death sentence. This becomes then by those Execution executes.

The entire procedure can be carried out only through in addition authorized representatives and authorities of a state. Legal death penalties presuppose thus a functioning juridical system. This is coupled to the education of national order structures and the structure of rule systems, overa force monopoly order or this aim at.

Of killing as punishment to differentiate killings are for the protection from dangers, about self-defence - and state of emergency actions like the so-called final rescue shot. These targeted killings from humans are in most stateslegally regulated and under certain circumstances permits. Same applies to according to international law sanctioned killing in the war. Extra-legal executions, approximately by Lynchjustiz, apply for death penalty in constitutional states as murder and therefore not are called, also not if them due to thatactual or assumed participation of the killing in a crime take place.

For thousands of years as particularly heavily defined criminality with the execution of the authors one punishes. Thus historically always an aspect of the retaliation and power safety device was connected. Today however is the death penaltyin the criminal law internationally extremely disputed. She raises various ethical, legal and practical questions, above all after her compatibility with the human rights. A multiplicity of Nichtregierungsorganisationen uses itself today for its world-wide proscription, non-application and complete abolishment.

This movement began in the age of the clearing-up in Europe. Human questioned the matter of course, with which governments take the right up for executing, increasingly. Since that 18. Some states did to century without the death penalty; since the experiencesthe world wars, again strengthened since 1970 and 1990, ever more states after their abolishment gave way to the demands. Also the UN-Menschenrechtskommission uses itself world-wide for this goal.

According to the article 102 of the Basic Law the death penalty is in Germany abolished.

Table of contents

as death with dignity valid criminal offence existence

in mostStates, which embodied the death penalty as law and to use, are them for crimes such as murder, Landesverrat or espionage intended, particularly in the martial law. In addition some states punish kidnapping, rape, drug trade and/or. Drug possession starting from a certain quantitywith death: z. B.Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand.

In some states, which continue old colonial right from Europe or as public law have a form of the Scharia, sexual behaviors are punished with death, in westernStates as punishable do not apply. In addition above all adultery and practiced male Homosexualität belong. This applies in 22 states with predominantly Islamic population for religious reasons as heavy criminal offence; sieve of it impose according to data of amnesty internationally (ai)when repeated testifying in extreme cases the death penalty, which is then usually executed as beheading or Steinigung: Iran, Afghanistan up to the fall of the Taliban, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, the Sudan, Mauritania and Chechnya. In Iran are since 1979however about 4,000 male homosexual ones executed its. In Afghanistan also today still women are executed because of adultery.

The death penalty for at the act time eighteen-year old not yet is rejected today by nearly all states and is forbidden after international right. InConvention over the rights of the child (child right convention) is called it in article 37:

For criminal offences, which were committed by persons before completion of the eight tenth Lebensjahrs, neither the death penalty nor lifelong imprisonment without the possibility of premature dismissal may imposedbecome.

All UN-states ratified this convention except the USA; since death sentences are approximately forbidden to the judgement of the highest Court of Justice from March 2005 at the act time person under age however also there generally. Ai nevertheless some UN-states let offenders under age loud execute: People's Republic of China, the democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Yemen, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.

Also states, in which the death penalty is forbidden by law and which signed the UN-Charter, seize perhapsto specially-legal killings and execute alleged or actual regime opponents, terrorist or criminal one without legal proceedings and law judgement. Military, police or secret service representatives act thereby often arbitrarily, approximately with reference to an alleged self-defence situation. This can take place with national covering or arrangementor because existing laws of a government are not interspersable. Such measures are pretty often nationally abgesegnet later and are then like judicial murders to be rated.


current total situation

according to constantly updated reliable data of amnesty internationally ([1]) haveat present 123 States of the death penalty legally or actually abolished, of it 86 completely. In 73 states it is located still in the law, however only by few of it each year is actually executed. Eleven states have it only for exceptional cases howWar crimes in the law, 26 further do not use the still existing law since at least ten years.

1976 had completely abolished only 16 States of the death penalty. Since then on the average annually three countries were added, them the de jure or in fact abolished. Since 1990 this number increased clearly; since then over 40 states the death penalty from their law painted. 2005 Mexico and Liberia were added last . The president of the Philippines, Gloria Arroyo, does not want to execute anybody morelet and the death penalty abolish. That must agree however the parliament. - Since 1985 three states introduced the death penalty after abolishment again to use so far without it again: The Gambia, the Philippines and Papua new Guinea. There 2002 became a child murdererto death condemns, but not yet executed. The total trend is unbroken: In the last 20 years well 50 per cent of all states, which still used the death penalty, of it distance took.

2005 became world-wide at least 2,148 (see. 2004: 3.797) Humansin 22 countries executed, further 5,186 (2004: 7.395) in 53 (before 64) countries to death were condemned. The dark number is however higher around a multiple. Altogether wait around 20,000 humans in death cells for their execution. 94 per cent (before 97)everything admits become Exekutionen (on the average about 3,000 per year) escaped only four states:

  • the People's Republic of China with at least 1,770 (3.400); Right experts count here however on up to 8.000 further executions concealed by the authorities.
  • Iran also94 (159).
  • Saudi Arabia with 86 (in the previous year Viet Nam with 64 was on „the third place “).
  • the USA with 60 (59). There between 50 and 100 executions per year are executed on the average.

Outrider of the abolishment

in 18. Century began the processthe abolishment of the death penalty in ever more states. Some took over thereby a role of the pioneer for their neighbour states.

In 20. Followed century then and. A.:

Those abolished Mexico

states without death penalty completeDeath penalty the following 86 states (alphabetically arranged):

Andorra 1990
Angola 1992
Armenia 2003
Azerbaijan 1998
Australia 1985
Belgium 1996
Bhutan 2004
Bosnia-Herzegovina 2001
Bulgaria 1998
Costa Rica 1877
Côte d'Ivoire 2000
Denmark 1978
Germany 1949 (west) 1987 (east)
Dominican Republic of 1966
Djibouti 1995
Ecuador 1906
Estonia 1998
Finland 1972
France 1981
Georgien 1997
Greece 2004
Guinea-Bissau 1993
Haiti 1987
of Honduras 1956
Iceland 1995
Ireland 1990
Italy 1994
Kambodscha 1989
Canada 1976
cape Verde 1981
Kiribati 1979
Colombia 1910
Croatia 1990
Liberia 2005
Liechtenstein 1987
Lithuania 1998
Luxembourg 1979
Macedonia 1991
Malta 2000
Marshall Islands 1986
of Mauritius 1995
Mexico 2005
Mikronesien 1986
Moldavia 1995
Monaco 1962
Mozambique 1990
Namibia 1990
Nepal of the 1997
Netherlands 1982
New Zealand 1989
Nicaragua 1979
Niue 2004
Norway 1979
Austria 1950
Osttimor 1999
Palau 1994
Panama 1903
Paraguay 1992
Poland 1997
Portugal 1976
Romania 1990
Salomonen 1978
Samoa 2004
San Marino 1865
São Tomé and Príncipe 1990
Sweden 1972
Switzerland 1992
Senegal 2004
Serbia and Montenegro of 1995
Seychelles 1993
Slowakei 1990
Slovenia 1989
Spain 1995
South Africa 1997
Tschechien 1990
Turkey 2006
Turkmenistan 1999
Tuvalu 1978
Ukraine 2000
Hungary 1990
Uruguay 1907
Vanuatu 1980
Vatikanstadt 1969
Venezuela 1863
united kingdom 1998
Cyprus 2002

only in the usual criminal law, not in the military meeting right or, The death penalty the following 11 states abolished exception right:

Albania 2000
Argentina 1984
Bolivia 1997
Brazil 1979
Chile 2001
Cookinseln N/A
El Salvador 1983
Fiji 1979
Israel 1954
Latvia 1999
Peru 1979

in the law still available, becomes the death penalty sinceat least 10 years in the following 25 states does not execute no more:

States with death penalty

altogether maintain still 75 States of (alphabetically arranged) a death penalty in the law, whereby this is handled different.

only few of these states use the death penalty regularly. From the larger industrial nations do this only the People's Republic of China, Japan and the USA. Regarding the number of inhabitants relatively there are many executionsin Singapore.


the death penalty one justifies with a set of always recurring ethical, legal and social arguments. They can be essentially attributed to three main arguments, which are often combined and mutually to support to be supposed itself:

  • fair retaliationfor the heaviest crimes,
  • necessary direct protection of the society by removal of the author (special prevention) and indirect deterrence further possible author of crime (general prevention; see the relative purpose of punishment theory),
  • smaller financial load for the public.


extinguishing a life must the life of the murderer cost: Many humans feel this as only acceptable retaliation. They believe that the principle of the compensatory justice (Ius talionis) can protect only in such a way or be restored approximately. This thinking is far in the public right feelingspread and deeply embodies, also, where the death penalty is not any longer exercised.

The generally human need after „right “(of the same word trunk as „revenge “) becomes at the same time religious in nearly all cultures with the thought of a Sühneleistungconnected. Thus it means for example in the Bible (gene 9, verse 6):

Who pours people blood, whose blood is also by humans is poured; because God made humans its picture.

Here becomes the death penalty with the even figurativenessfrom creator and creature justifies. The murderer intervenes in God right, which is after the Bible alone gentleman over lives and death. God justice requires that also its life is then terminated. The today's largechurch ethics argues on the sameBasis an inviolable, not empirically understandable: Because all life is created by God and also the author of God is and remains image, testify the straight abolishment of the death penalty the attention for the creator and judges of all life. ItsProtection serves its requirement, so that the abolishment fulfills rather this sense.

The punishment must be appropriate the crime: This basic principle of all right remained valid in the modern states, which are obligated to the inheritance of the clearing-up. In their philosophy hasitself above all Kant for the death penalty expressed, because murder requires a qualitatively adequate retaliation (S. and). - Opponent of the death penalty of the same argumentation basis from to contrary consequences arrives also here: Straight one because death another, final qualityin relation to all other punishments, may the state does not have of humans committed killing repeat. „The satisfaction of the justice “, which is actually appropriate for the act, cannot be achieved also by the killing of the murderer. Because the state is created by fallible humans and may not anmassen itself to be able to manufacture such perfect „justice “.

Where he tries, represent he only social revenge needs. Give way if it to these, then question it the right nationalness of the community,instead of protecting it, as it is its task. Because the state represents not only the public order, but also their general value bases. Since it as highest values recognize the life of the particular and a living together of all, it may itselfdo not place with the criminal on a stage, which ignore these values. Rather it has the obligation, to promote whose penetration by its exemplary acting.

Victim member and law representatives notice this however often completely differently. They see in the death penaltyalmost the summit of the superordinate justice, which the state embodies. It has to intersperse these without reputation of the person in relation to breach of law, in order to protect the general validity of the legal order. Dies verlange, dass der Täter eben nicht nur mit seiner Freiheit, sondern auchwith its life for destroying lives other one clings. In addition this is the only appropriate form „of the compensation “for the victim members. Only so they could lock with the crime internally „“.

Here it becomes clear that both proponents and opponent thatDeath penalty from a justice idea proceed, which is not empirically begründbar alone. Furthermore all debates affect a socialpsychological aspect around the death penalty. Questionings of victim members in the USA, which attended the execution of the murderer, place the thesis of „the satisfaction “of theJustice feeling by the removal of the author however in question. Thus there are also associations of murder victim members, who reject the death penalty consciously and look for other forms of the processing of the act (see Web on the left of).


justify deterrence states, which use the death penalty, inall rule less philosophically than pragmatically as follows:

  • The danger to lose the own life is to hold potenzielle authors from committing a heavy criminal offence. This deterrence effect succeeds only, if already calm authors were executed. Since with detentions or came prematurelyRelease from custody by false appraisal further criminal offences is possible, prevents only the execution them effectively from the repetition of similar crimes.

This reason is questioned by experience: The few force criminals plan their acts before so rationally that them the possible consequencestake into account for itself. Murders are done frequently in the affect and via concatenation force of promoting circumstances. The authors do not consider the threatening consequence of their acting in such situations. They do not count on their transfer, so that then neither the death penalty nor thoseThreat imprisonment of many years or of lifelong it of their act deters. Already the murder more guiltily, calm criminal has possibly even smaller inhibitions to commit further criminal offences - to murder for instance witnesses -, there the point the one which can be expectedMeasure of punishment is already reached. The endangerment by such authors can thus in countries, which impose the death penalty, even more largely its than in other countries.

Furthermore there are today technically good possibilities of ensuring life imprisonment those the population durablyagainst force authors to protect can. To death condemned against it have for the duration of its detention, which often covers many years, in principle the same small escape chances as other prisoners. - Some states, among them Germany and Switzerland, permit also afterserved liberty withdrawal a preventive detention, in order to protect the society further against heavy offenders. In other countries this Rechtsinstitut is however unknown. It was often regarded there as offence against and against the prohibition of the double punishment.

  • Only thoseRemoval of the author affects indirectly deterring also possible other authors. Differently is not to be met to an increase of force crimes and thus the endangerment of public security and order. Are missing the schwerstmögliche punishment in the pallet of the penalty clauses, then is the effect and reliability of the national legal protection altogether endanger.

Such a general deterrent effect of the death penalty is however empirically so far not clearly occupied. A study of Dezhbakhsh/Shepherd refers to a rise of the murder rate in the USA during the there suspensionthe death penalty between 1972 and 1976 in the comparison at present before it and thereafter; however regular reliable data face that to the Kriminalstatistik, after those so far no direct connection between death penalty and decrease proven by force crimes in individual Federal States of the USAwill could. A set of studies for US states for example seems to occupy rather the opposite: , Where no death penalty existed or was used, the number of the murders lay nearly ever lower than, where accomplished in the same period executionsbecome. In Canada the average annual murder rate lies since the abolishment of the death penalty 1976 constantly many lower than in the USA. 1975 lay it there after non-application for many decades by 23 per cent lower than in the last year of application.

This supportsConsiderations, according to which the death penalty could lead as extreme national act of violence rather to a general brutalization and lower the restraining threshold for acts of violence. Opponents of the death penalty refer beyond that to the ethical questionableness of the deterrence argument: It cannot do so final and cruelKind of punishing justify. Since is inviolable, the state must protect also the life right of not therapy hereditary arene authors. They might be taken not for potential acts of other humans in joint liability, but be punished only for their own acting. This is by onelifelong detention likewise or better possible.

  • Often the death penalty is justified also with national self-defence and compared with police special rights like „the final rescue shot “.

After the arrest of an offender however no more acute emergency situation exists, so that oneExecution then no self-defence is. Constitutionalists regard this form of the punishment therefore as a fundamental endangerment of right-national principles; Opponents of the death penalty speak of nationally arranged murder.


the schwerstmögliche punishment after the death penalty is in most states the lifelong Detention. This usually means that the public and concomitantly the members of the victims of heavy criminal offences must bear the cost of the detention of the authors. This is frequently rejected by social majorities, also, where the death penaltylegally one abolished.

In states, whose condition embodies and protects the human rights, however legal of minimum standard are guaranteed for the imposition of a death penalty legally. Because it concerns lives or death of the offender, increased demands are made against the determinations and precautionsto the avoidance of miscarriages of justice met. Therefore a criminal procedure for to death goes through usually condemned a way by several instances and Appellationsverfahren. It can often take therefore years or decades.

Thus the cost saving in the execution of sentences is void, becausethe detention passengers waiting for their execution or their delay to be supplied likewise, their legal proceedings and its execution be possibly paid must. In the USA a process, which condemned one with the execution to death ends, costs therefore on the average moreas a lifelong arrest.

In addition against this reason substantial ethical doubts exist: A possible cost saving may not be a reason for the removal of the authors, because thereby the right nationalness of the entire execution of sentences is waived and given to arbitrariness.


execution methods

Hinrichtung auf der Garrotte im Jahre 1901 im Bilibid-Gefängnis in Manila auf den Philippinen
Execution on the gang in the year 1901 in the Bilibid prison in Manila on the Philippines

the enforcement of the death penalty is the execution. It is often done via an official ordered for it, the Henker (also executioner called). Although the medieval society of death sentencesto execute in great quantities and publicly and as regular people play celebrated, was usually outlawed with its family „the master Hans left “: One avoided the contact to him and placed him on the lowest social stage.

In the modern times also therefore those becameindividual responsibility for the act of the execution partially smears and/or. on a group distributes: The punishment is executed for example by a Peloton, so that the killing cannot be assigned to particular. Also becomes in the execution chambers of the USA frequentlya random number generator switched on, so that the two or three implementing do not know, whose switch the deadly poison into the Venen of the condemned one to flow leaves. Also with the shooting spread in times of war some soldiers of the Exekutionskommandos have Platzpatronen in their rifle.

In the course of history different kinds of the execution became generally accepted, which were exercised partly parallel, partly each other replacing and become. In the fronteastern antique one the most frequent form of the death penalty was the Steinigung. It was accomplished by the collective. Laterrequired one of the prosecutors to throw the first stones on the condemned victim in order to underline so the legal standard of the accusation and to make perjuries more difficult during the process. In countries such as z. B. Iran, where adultery as death-worthyPassing applies, the Steinigung until today either by the state or by archaische self law of the members is partly exercised. - In the Roman realm the Kreuzigung was the usual, consciously cruel and degrading form of the execution for run away slaves, criminals withoutRoman citizen right and insurgent one.

Ein als Krimineller verurteilter Chinese kniet über seinem eigenen Grab und wartet auf die Enthauptung durch den japanischen Henker (Tientsin, China, 1901)
As criminal condemned Chinese kneel over its own grave and wait for beheading by the Japanese Henker (Tientsin, China, 1901)

in the European Middle Ages then a multiplicity of methods one developed: Beheading by that Sword was aristocrat or other privileged Delinquenten reserved. For particularly heavy criminal offences Erhängen , the Erwürgen with a cord were usual or wheels. Burning with alive body on the heap of failure was the most well-known punishing method for heresy. Itif originally strict restrictions were subject and was rare therefore, became however within some ranges like the Spanish Inquisition and particularly during witch pursuit starting from the end 15. Century excessive applied. However it was often reduced in the way thatthe execution victim before the burn secretly by the Henker was strangled or made at least unconscious.

Hinrichtung der vier Lincoln-Verschwörer am Galgen (1865)
Execution of the four Lincoln conspirators at the Galgen (1865)

in France became since 1792 the Guillotine as machine form of beheading usually and spread from thereout in Europe. In addition shooting came since invention of the firearms. For approximately 1890 beside it the strand became generally accepted . In 20. Century were added the Gaskammer, the electrical chair and recently also the lethal injection (deadly poison syringe).

Different execution methods are socially also differently evaluated. During some - like z. B. in former times the Kreuzigung, later the strand - which Delinquenten should degrade consciously, applies others - like z. B. in the military context shooting - as honorable. SuchHonouring terms stand also behind freiwilligen self selbsttötungen of to death condemned, approximately as Seppuku in old Japan.

Due to this symbolic linkage of kind of death with the final evaluation of the executing the law nearly always prescribes, which execution method on which crimestands and like a death sentence to be executed must. One repays „a low “crime also with one „low “execution form, one as less seriously judged criminal offence with one allegedly „willful “kind of kindkind. Where one differentiates in such a way, the public law is usually unhinterfragt to the death penaltypresupposed, because democratic structures are missing.

In Germany 19 was since that. Century beheading the legally prescribed form of the execution, which was executed in the member states either by the drop hatchet (Guillotine) or the hand axe. Only military capital crimes becamewith shooting punished. Only in the third realm the execution was intended by the strand as a particularly entehrende form of the enforcement for certain criminal offences.

Problem of execution

legal orders always legitimize themselves with a superordinate justice idea, without those human living togethernot to function can. Whereupon also proponents and opponents of the death penalty refer. They usually require of the state to manufacture fair conditions to give appropriate laws to protect and execute. The proponents believe that a commonwealth this inIdeal case faultlessly to succeed can. The opponents refer in contrast to this to the fundamental defectiveness of all juridical systems created by humans. States are artificial things, which never functioned error free, in order to be able to answer for thereby the death of humans. Some lean therefore all systems of governmentoff, others aim at penal reforms on the soil of the existing legal order.

States with a death penalty accept unavoidably the execution of innocent ones: Neither police nor law work error free, so that it comes as can be prove again and again to miscarriages of justice. The finalnesshowever their additional correction makes for the death penalty not possibly. As the state arranged and accomplished the killing of innocent ones, it damaged the justice for all its citizens irrevocablly. This fact is one of the strongest arguments against the death penalty.

In addition the problem of the legal appreciation of criminal offences comes. Many states specify unclear law criteria: As death worthy an act of violence is considered about if it were out committed out „low motives “. Critical science refers to the fact that their definition constantly variable socialAre subject to Werturteilen. Thus become the picture, which a judge or a jury of the accused makes themselves, often crucially for the judgement over its living or dying.

In capital procedures often subjective impressions of punishing pursuers, prosecutors, assessors, judges and jurors give thatExcursion for a judgement. Such criminal procedures are besides often strongly emotionalisiert: The members of the victims and that or the authors and their members face each other. The public is likewise involved and by the media is additionally affected. On thatDecision makers - not always occupation judges, but often laymen - thus a substantial public pressure rests. That can lead to the fact that they seek to convince the desires of a majority giving way and this by a hard or mild procedure. This situation is a frequent cause for miscarriages of justice.

Furthermore the death penalty is very often felt as unreasonable inhuman cruelty. Actually so far everyone of the different execution methods caused errors, unexpected side effects and agonies. This applies itself also to the deadly poison injection, into that The USA today as prevailing method intersperses. But this argument of convinced opponents of the death penalty is not moved into the foreground, since also one does not change still „more humanere “method for anything in the ethical despicableness this kind of punishing.


antique one

the death penalty developedfrom the so-called „blood revenge “. This was an unwritten kinship right in before-national societies, which permitted it to each member of a murder victim to take revenge at the author and its kinship. This often led to endless master feuds and up to exterminationwhole kinship federations.

The more around-pulling Nomadengruppen established became, the more became necessarily obligatory and uniform regulation of cases of damage. The antique excessive quantity developed gradually public proof, court and criminal procedures and delegated the punishment of Tötungsdelikten to „a Bluträcher selected in addition “.

Thosefirst well-known legislation with a death penalty is the Codex Hammurapi, developed approximately around 1700 v. Chr.. There the death penalty with the so-called valley ion formula was justified: „Lives for lives “. That limited the blood revenge and led the principle thatProportionateness of act and damage reconciliation. In the Bible this valley ion principle was limited to the single author (2. Mose 21, 23):

If durable damage develops, then give a life for a life…

demanded not the victim members for retaliation, but thoseAuthor members the payment of damages up and made alone liable the causer. It became conceivablly to give its life also in other way than by its execution.

In the five books Moses („Tora “and/or. Pentateuch mentioned) becomes the death penalty fora number of usually sexual and religious facts demanded, under it: Striking or Verfluchen of parents, kidnapping, Zauberei, Sex with animals, Anbetung and victim for foreign Gods, people victim, Geisterbeschwörung, adultery, Homosexualität, Inzest, Sex during that Menstruation, Gotteslästerung, Lügenprophetie. These offenses were considered as existence threat of the whole people and therefore under strict penalty clause were placed.

With Tötungsdelikten those differentiated Tora deliberate murder from unintentional killing and self-defence, put public legal proceedings for the statement ofCriminal offence and measure of punishment firmly and granted to injustice as murderers pursued Totschlägern right of asylum in places of refuge intended for it. For a valid death sentence it required at least two eye-witnesses, the thorough examination of its statements and incorruptible judges, in order to avoid injustice judgements. ThoseJewish right tradition (Talmud) prepared the legal proceedings ever more exactly and shows a tendency towards ever stronger delimitation of death sentences.

Many antique realms knew only fines, possibly enslavement or death penalty, but no imprisonments, there secure arrest technicallywas still hardly possible. The executions happened often publicly, in order to maintain and at the same time deter spectators. Often also torture preceded the death penalty , which was a usual cross-examining method. Right nationalness in the modern sense did not give it: The death penalty was only thoseto the ruling powers form of the revenge of the collective delegated, implemented from the state.

In the Roman realm it was suspended, however in the Kaiser era for the defense against public enemies was again established occasionally. It served now for the penetration of the Imperium Romanum in conqueredAreas and for the suppression of rebellions. Many also small crimes were punished with while to Roman citizens higher right standards applied. After the Jews became particularly the Christians to in 4. Century inside as „Atheisten “and „enemies of the Menschengeschlechts “pursues.

The Christian Middle Ages

Christian were 300 years long frequent victims of the Roman class law and rejected killing force for itself. But after Konstantin I. 313 the Christianity officially and had become it permitted to 380 the state religion of the Roman realm, took nationalExekutionen not off, but too. The church was now actively involved in it: Augustinus of Hippo legitimized the death penalty (420) for baptized state representatives apart from the war service also.

The Roman-catholic church justified its use approximately „heaths “. Those orthodox church against it saw the death penalty as obstacle for the mission. The eastRoman realm reduced the number of the executions since that 8. Century and replaced it by cutting off noses or ears, all the an Christian-educational influence upto exercise the population.

In the 11. Century set Pope Innozenz III. Executions of „Ketzern “through. Bishops and cardinals imposed death sentences, which implemented the national authorities. The rule ecclesia non sitit sanguinem („church does not pour blood “) applied only conditionally, thereChurch representatives also political offices held and within the own rule range to execute left.

In the late Middle Ages, as which power monopoly of Pope - and Kaisertum, Klerus and aristocracy were increasingly threatened, quantity and cruelty of the executions took like also the offenses, thosewith it were punished, constantly too. The church contributed with the Inquisition and witch pursuit considerably to it.

Early modern times

the early modern times brought an enormous increase in contrast to this again. The reformation had waked at the beginning of large hopes: Martin Luther moved God ultimative Grace judgement in Jesus Christ for all humans into the center of the Christian faith and separated religious and lay power. It became conceivablly to reform also the national criminal law in accordance with the gospel. Actually however the nationalwonderful church regiment strengthened far away the arbitrary actionthe princes. With the pauperization of broad social classes farmer rebellions and Raubrittertum grew; the by force the authorities reacted. Luther reacted sharply to the first prince murder of South German farmers (Weinsberger blood act) and called the princes to the mass murder at the farmersup.

Between 1525 and 1648 the number of the Exekutionen reached a high point after the other one. The kinds of execution became ever crueler and more varied. With arranging sword, Galgen, wheel, wood impact etc. if ever smaller offenses, even smallest thefts, became punishes. Everything happened alsoquiet or loud agreement and participation of all Christian churches. Therefore these were thoroughly discredited after the dreissigjährigen war in the middle class.

Modern times

the definition cuius regio, eius religio in Augsburger the confessional peace 1555 and its confirmation in the Westfäli peace 1648 favouredthe emergence of national states and their autonomous definition of right and appropriate execution of sentences. But only with the clearing-up 18. Century developed in philosophy and human an effective opposition against the death penalty.

The Italian Cesare Beccaria gave it totoday valid arguments to the hand („of crimes and punishments “1764):

You want to prevent the crimes? Then worry yourself for it that the laws are clear and simple, the whole power of the nation concentrated on their defense and no partthis power on its destruction one uses. It ensures for the fact that the laws favour the classes of humans less than humans absolutely. It ensures for the fact that humans the laws, and it alone, is afraid. The fear of the law is welfare SAM,but of crimes the fear from humans is fatal and pregnant to humans. Geknechtete humans are benefit-addicted, out-curving, more cruelly free humans. […] You want to prevent the crimes? Then it ensures for the fact that the clearing-up with the liberty hand in handgo.

Beccaria demanded thus generally accepted clear laws, right nationalness and release from class rule, in order to reduce crimes. Furthermore it argued:

From the simple view of the truths argued so far clearly that the punishment has neither the purpose, a feeling followsTo torment nature and to praying carrots to undo still another crime already committed. A political body, which removes, far, to act out of passion rather the calm chief of the passions of the particulars knows is, that useless cruelty, the tool thatRage, the Fanatismus or weak Tyrannen are inherent in? Can the complaint calls of a unfortunate one reclaim the acts achieved by the never returning time? The purpose is thus no different one to prevent than the criminal to cause to its fellow citizens new damage and thoseto hold other one from same actions. Thus the punishments and the kind of its imposing the preference/advantage, those earn under keeping of the suitability the liveliest and nachhaltigsten impression on the mind of humans make and the guilty one if possible small physicalWrong add.

It leaned thereby the thought of the Sühne strictly starting from to favour of a criminal law aligned to legal protection, crime prevention and lasting humanization: Only an exemplary constitutional state is able to deter effectively from crimes. - Also Gotthold Ephraim Lessing, the poetand philosopher of the enlightened tolerance, rejected the death penalty.

This attitude was however also among the representatives of the clearing-up rather the exception: John curl, Montesquieu, Voltaire and Rousseau were all together for the death penalty. Immanuel Kant justified thosespread opposite standpoint („the Metaphysik of the customs “, part of E: „Of the punishing and power of pardon “, I.) as follows:

It has however gemordet so must it die. There is here no Surrogat for the satisfaction of the justice. It is not homogeneity between one still like thatsorrowful lives and death, thus also no equality of the crime and the retaliation, as by at the author judicially carried out, but of all abusing, which could make mankind in the suffering person the Scheusal, befreieten death.

Similarly arguedin the following idealism and Voluntarismus 19. Century also Hegel and Schopenhauer, while Schleiermacher for reasons of the morality was against it.

In the French revolution came it to an occasional break-through of the general human rights. The unequal treatment of the citizens forwardsthe law should be abolished; the death penalty was questioned from there from however hardly. Only the execution methods should „humanisiert “, unnecessary cruelty should be moderated. A result was the invention of the Guillotine. In the course of the reign of terror of the Jakobiner and the dictatorship Napoleon executions thereby increased enormously.

In the colonial territories and with the national wars of European states in 19. Century was frequently excessive used the death penalty, in order to secure interests of power. On the other hand now above all representatives of the erstarkenden workers' movement demanded theirgeneral abolishment.Pink Luxembourg made this demand directly public after their release in November 1918 in the first expenditure of the magazine „the red flag “. She saw therein the necessary at the beginning of a fundamental law and social reform for the overcoming of class rule.

Forwardseverything in the third realm, in addition, in the Soviet Union it came into the 1930er and 1940er years however to massive judicial murders: The death penalty was used again as power instrument against regime opponents and for inhumane goals.

Developments after 1945

since theseThe abolishment of the death penalty in many western societies more and more support won experiences. A number of considerable authors engaged themselves strongly for it: for instance the existentialistische poet Albert Camus, the philosopher Jean Paul Sartre or the physician and historian Albert Schweitzer. Its „reverence before the life “represented a new ecological ethics, which replaces the principle of the mörderischen self statement by the insight into the limitation, cross-linking and the solidarity of all life.

The large churches, those the death penalty in former times alwayswhen justified necessary government authority, a gradual course change carried out. In the protest anti-mash was in 19. Century nearly only Johann Ulrich Wirth of the death penalty against stepped. Karl Barth justified this refusal 1951 opposite the traditional lutherischen Staatsmetaphysik with cross death Jesu Christiand the death penalty from there explained for incompatible with Christian faith and right nationalness. Since 1968 also the Vatikan rejected the death penalty increasingly and explains it for incompatible with the God even figurativeness of each humans. Pope Johannes Paul II. it left 2001 from the condition of the Vatikanstaats paint; the official catholic ethics legitimizes it only for rare exceptional cases. Today the churches use themselves together with groups of human rights for their world-wide abolishment.

This is the more remarkably, than the Bible for many centuries nearly onlywas not consulted, in order to justify the death penalty, in order to question it. Christian Biblizismus and fundamentalism sees this often further as göttliche arrangement and inalienable public law. Thus today situation exists the paradoxes that some free churches particularly into that The USA the death penalty against the large churches affirm, before whose legitimized application its trailers had church fled in former times from Europe.


social classes the death penalty do not accept Europe in most countries of Europe any longer. All member states of the Council of Europe have to 1997 those European human right convention (EMRK) signs and thus the death penalty in times of peace abolished. Since then it gave no more execution in the area of the Council of Europe.

A convicition change preceded that, which changed the behavior of the European governments only in recent past. ThoseEMRK first still regarded the death penalty in article 2 as conditionally justified. But gradually the Council of Europe under the pressure of the public opinion became a decided fighter against the death penalty. it put therefore 6 to 1983. Fakultativprotokoll totheir abolishment in times of peace up. Except Russia all 46 member states of the Council of Europe joined this minutes; Germany did this 1989. Also Russia signed the EMRK 1997, it however yet ratified and does not keep the death penalty in the martial lawbei. The Russian constitutional court exposed however all death sentences to 1999 and forbade further.

13. Fakultativprotokoll of the EMRK explained finally also the death penalty in times of war to 2002 as abolished. Germany ratified it in July 2004. In to 29. October 2004 signed European condition is forbidden the death penalty. The European union (European Union) raised and the condition of admission for new member states made this complete abolishment its value canon. It affected with it the discussion and situation in possible entry countries. So hassince 2004 also Turkey the death penalty legally abolished. Illegal executions occur there however further.

Only white Russia and the Vatikan are not on the European continent member of the Council of Europe. The last death sentence was executed in the church state 1870. 1969 createdthe Vatikanstadt the death penalty by law off;2001 were finally painted it also from its condition.

In white Russia the death penalty against it further one practices. Originally it could be imposed for twelve criminal offence existence, since 2003 comes it however only forheavy cases from murder to application. Between December 1996 and May 2001 134 humans are to have been executed by shooting. Since then the number of the executions is declining; exact numbers are not well-known, since they are treated as state secret.1996 spokeitself 80 per cent of the Byelorussian population for the retention of the death penalty out.

Also in the European Union states again and again heated debates flash over a re-establishment of the death penalty, particularly in connection with Sexualverbrechen, terrorist attacks or political murders. Thus leanedthe Polish parliament to 22. October 2004 a bill for the re-establishment of the death penalty, which a group brought in together right and right-wing extremist parties, only with limited majority off. After inquiries at present 77 per cent is that Poland for the death penalty for genocideand particularly cruel murder. Strongest proponents are the new Polish president Lech Kaczyński and its brother Jarosław Kaczyński, the chairman of the party of the PiS, those the parliamentary elections to 25. September 2005 won. Only the membership in the European Union prevents PolandGovernment still to supply the death penalty.

In the Netherlands since the murders at the Rechtspopulisten Pim Fortuyn and the Islam-critical film producer Theo van Gogh again publicly the death penalty one requires. The liberal party politician Patrick van Schie would like the Basic Law article 114, thatit forbids there, waives, in order to permit the death penalty as means to the deterrence of Islamic terrorists. Its raid signals the social climatic change: After inquiries support it at present approximately 50 per cent of the population. He would find no majority in the parliament however: Most delegatesreject it as incompatible with European values and right-national principles.

International legal situation and Nichtregierungsorganisationen

already in its resolution 32/61 of 8. December 1977 explained the UN-general assembly that it was desirable, to abolish the death penalty. The UN-Menschenrechtskommission sits upthe basis of its resolution 2004/67 of 21. April 2004 for the world-wide abolishment of the death penalty and develops effective mechanisms to their penetration and examination. It demands a world-wide suspension (moratorium) for executions.

The number of the States of, thoseunder public pressure without the death penalty do and their abolishment legally embody, continues to increase still. On the other hand also arbitrary executions and deadly forms of government authority increase. In many countries in the world right-national structures are missing and prevail diktatorische regime, thusthat no control and clearing-up of kind and extent of individual and national crimes there are given.

The penetration of international right standards is made more difficult by the culturally different interpretation of the human rights and other factors. Many UN-member states maintain the death penalty. Besidesthe legally legitimized death penalty can be only with difficulty distinguished from the illegal killing frequently - particularly in war or civil war situations -. Some states treat assassination attempts on civilians with high victim numbers, with background of terror and other extraordinary violent crime also without legalAnd the authors without criminal procedures kill basis like a death-worthy passing.

Therefore also proponents of the death penalty, who are interested in right security, hold the work of international human right organizations for essential. Opponents stress beyond that that the abolishment of the death penalty also a contributionfor the general validity of the human rights would be. In order to make their attention unreversible, it requires a constant civilizing commitment. A multiplicity of initiatives, organizations and social federations engages itself today world-wide against the death penalty.

This topic was a main motive for establishmentfrom Amnesty internationally (ai), one first and world-wide recognized human right organizations, which numerous groups with similar objectives followed. With the establishment of the world coalition against the death penalty (World Coalition against the Death Penalty) in June 2001 in Strasbourgfirst 38 of such non-governmental organizations (NGOs), lawyer federations, municipalities and countries, trade unions and churches from the whole world gave themselves a common platform. These lead since 10. Octobers 2003 annually one „action day against the death penalty “through and start effective initiativesto the penetration of international right standards, z. B. by delegation of struggle-high personalities to execution dates or parliamentary tunings to the death penalty.

To 30. November 2004 267 cities took part world-wide - under it 25 capitals - in the action Cities for would run („cities for thatLife “), by illuminating a landmark of their city green. The community Sant'Egidio initiated the action 2002. The date was selected, because the Grand Duchy of Toskana abolished 1786 on this day as the first country in the world the death penalty (see Web on the left of). –In the context of the campaign „no to death penalty “ai, the community Sant'Egidio and moratorium have 2000 are collected and handed over to the United Nations 1998 five million signatures against the death penalty.

History of the abolishment in individual states of Europe

German Reich

the of Baden Guillotine (reproduction)

at the time of the establishment of realm was non-uniform the legal situation concerning the death penalty. Some countries (Bremen, Oldenburg, Saxonia) had abolished it after the revolution of 1848/49. The recovery of this circumstance it became 1871 in Paragraf 211the realm penal code for the total area of the German empire as punishment for completed murder as well as attempted murder at emperors or national gentleman prescribed. As execution method beheading specified, only Bavaria executed between 1920 and 1923 by shooting. Starting from 1877 executions foundonly closed instead of.

In the start time of the Weimar Republic the death penalty came into the discussion, because politically motivated murders were punished by on the left of substantially more frequent with death than comparable cases with right background, on which among other things 1921 the journalist Emil Julius Gumbel referred to. The number of the executions later constantly sank and was usually limited to the punishment of spectacular crimes like those the series murderer Fritz hair man (1925) and Peter Kürten (1931). A request that SPD to abolish the death penalty failed however in November 1927 in the committee for penal reform of the realm daily.

Time of the national socialism

immediately after the seizure of power of the national socialists became to 29. March 1933 the realm law over imposition and execution of the death penalty issue.

Large attention excited the execution of the realm tag fire founder Marinus van the Lubbe to 10. January 1934. Since on arson to the act time the death penalty did not stand yet at all, which one had retroactively introduced only for its case, the judgement offended approximatelythe legal maxim nulla poena sine put (lat.: „no punishment without law “).

The realm commissioner for law Hans franc represented „ the inconsiderate execution of the death penalty on the realm Party Congress in September 1934 “as special achievement of the LV juridical system.

By numerous regulations, among other things the regulation against public enemies of 5. September 1939, was later ever continued to increase the number with the death penalty to punishing criminal offences. Starting from 1944 the death penalty for any crime could be imposed, when yardstick appliedonly „recover to people feeling “. A quotation of Hitler of 1942 is characteristic: After 10 years penintentiary is anyway lost for the community humans. One puts or kills such chap either into a concentration camp him. Lately is the latter more importantly, around the deterrence sake.

After the official statistics between 1933 and 1945 16,560 death sentences pleases, of it about 12,000 was executed. 664 death sentences took place before beginning of war, 15,896 during the Second World War. However the people's court imposed5,243 death sentences. In addition additionally about 20,000 death sentences were expressed by courts-martial.

Most judgements were executed by the drop hatchet. In addition, Erhängen was usually, in particular with cases of Landesverrat and if mass executions lined up. After the failed assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler of 20. July 1944 many death sentences were expressed and executed in particularly cruel way, by Erhängen at butcher hooks with loops from piano wires. This happened on instruction of Hitler, who let the Exekutionen also film and photograph. Particularly many executions found inPenintentiary Plötzensee instead of, up to 142 on one day. The most well-known and usually-busy executioner in the third realm was Johann realm-hard.

Only to 28. January 1985 main headers the German Bundestag the legal force of the death sentences of the people's court generally up. That itwhen apply for judicial murder, became to 28. May 1998 by law embodied (see abolition of LV injustice judgements).

German Democratic Republic

in the SBZ gave it from 1945 to the establishment of state (1949) of 121 death sentences by German authorities, from those to 47were executed. In a further case the enforcement is not yet clarified. Since the establishment of state there were 227 valid death sentences, of it 166 was executed.

Like many death sentences in and the 50's 40's of Soviet crew power pleases and throughShoot were executed, is unknown. One estimates that some hundreds cases were. Between 1947 and January 1950 the death penalty was however abolished in the USSR, so that in these years issued death sentences also in the SBZ into lifelong or25-year old detention were converted.

In the GDR the death penalty could be formally imposed with murder and war crime, in addition, with espionage and sabotage. It became first by beheading with the Guillotine, starting from 1966 by one „unexpected close shot “inthe neck executes.

To 1960 the executions took place to the predominant part in Dresden, in addition, in the penintentiary Brandenburg and in Frankfurt/or. The Dresdener drop hatchet had been used in the third realm in the inner court of the regional court at the resident of Munich place,then before end of war in a filled quarry in close proximity to Kamenz in the Westlausitz sinks briefly, after end of war saved and again prepared. To 1956 executions were made, starting from 1957 took over there DO to Dresden the building. Today standsthere a memorial place, which refers to the executions. Since 1960 all executions took place central in Leipzig in the prison in the Alfred Kästner road.

Since 1970 became the death penalty only rarely imposed, almost exclusively in cases of espionage. The last death sentencebecame to 26. June 1981 at the MfS - officer Dr. Werner Teske executes, the last civilian death penalty at the child murderer Erwin Hagedorn from Eberswalde to 15. September 1972.

Only to 17. July 1987 announced the Council of State of the GDR the legalAbolishment of the death penalty in the context of a comprehensive amnesty, among other things for white-collar crime and republic escape. In December the people chamber passed a law in addition. These measures corresponded to western demands and were connected with the state visit at that time of Erich Honecker in Bonn .

Remarkablythe strict secrecy of all executions from 1949 to the end of the GDR is 1990. Even with openly announced death sentences during looking processes the enforcement was kept always completely secret. Even in the certificates of death appeared to the executing as cause of death usually only„Heart failure “. Number and kind of the executions came only to the turn to the light.

Federal Republic of Germany

between 1945 and 1949 were executed the last death penalties in the area of the later Federal Republic: usually in the context of the Nürnberger of processes against former Nazi - sizes because of War crime and crime against the humanity (Holocaust). In addition there were several death sentences and executions of other offenders. In prisons of the US army on soil of the German Federal Republic as in the war criminal prison Landsberg to 1951 death sentences were executed.

The countries bathing, Bavaria, Bremen and Hessen gave themselves 1946 - 1947 still before the Basic Law own conditions. They still permitted the death penalty, imposed them however to 1949 no more. Rhineland-Palatinate imposed still death sentences, which however despite Guillotine already purchased does not execute no morebecame. The last death sentence in West Germany is to 18. February 1949 executed in Tübingen at the 28-jährigen murderer smelling pool of broadcasting corporations shoe its, after the president at that time of Württemberg Hohenzollern, had rejected Gebhard Mueller, his pardon. Mueller became a late Prime Ministerof Baden-Wuerttemberg and afterwards president of the Federal Constitutional Court.

West Berlin was not included because of the four-power status until 1990 into the area of application of the Basic Law. There „the law stepped for the abolishment of the death penalty “to 20. January 1951 into force. In Berlin became last to 12. May 1949 the 24-jährige robbery murderer Berthold Wehmeyer by the drop hatchet executed. The crew statute planned the death penalty in West Berlin for „punishable actions against the interests of crew powers “further as maximum penalty. Of it use was however never made.

With the establishmentthe Federal Republic of Germany came into force 1949 the Basic Law (GG) as superordinate Federal Law. Therein article 102 reads lapidary: The death penalty is abolished.

The initiative for the prohibition of the death penalty proceeded from Hans Christoph Seebohm , the these for the first time to 6. December 1948 in consultation to the Basic Law suggested. He was joint founder of the German party and wanted with the prohibition above all war criminals from the time against 1945 to protect.

Friedrich William Wagner (SPD) requested successfully the abolishment of the death penalty in Parliamentary advice. After the entry into force of the Basic Law this could be arranged nor executed in the Federal Republic neither. Appropriate ones continuing penal laws in individual national conditions became groundless thereby.

, looked for 1949, directly after the establishment of the Federal Republic German representatives the High Commissioner forGermany - John J. McCloy up and protested against the enforcement of the death penalty against war criminals, because this was abolished in Germany.

The death penalty, which was intended for murder still in the penal code for example, became formal only in the year 1953 in the context of the change of the penal code by the third criminal law law of change (BGBl. I S. 735) in each case by lifelong penal servitude replaces.

The Bavarian condition contained in kind. 47, exp. 4 further the regulation that the execution of the death penalty of a confirmation thatState government required. Only by a popular vote of 8. February 1998 was painted this passage. Also in the condition of the Saarland, which joined only 1957 of the Federal Republic, a similar regulation stood until 1956. On the other hand is until today in kind. 21,Exp. 1 of the hessian condition the groundless/unnecessary restriction contain that a judicial death sentence is permitted only due to a penal law and only with particularly heavy crimes.

Already to 27. March 1950 had itself the West German parliament with a bill toRe-establishment of the death penalty concern, which the right-conservative Bavaria party brought in. Its delegate Hermann Etzel justified it as follows:

How can a society foresee such Untieren in relation to of the death penalty? Here the renouncement of it is the expression of a wrongly understood humanity.

National socialists, who were involved in the Holocaust , were meant. The death penalty was considered here thus as possible retaliation to these crimes. However were at that time neither the simple nor the necessary two-thirds majority containing a constitutional amendment.

1952 requested those today as right-wing extreme valid A German party, which was involved in the government coalition under Federal Chancellor Konrad Adenauer (CDU) at that time, again the re-establishment of the death penalty. Also Adenauer or the later Minister of Justice Richard hunter (CSU) pleaded in individual election campaign speeches for it. FDP Minister of Justice Thomas Dehler spoke itselfon the other hand out:

If one decided in principle for the death penalty, then the crucial threshold is exceeded.

Although CDU and CSU tried to introduce the death penalty still for a long time again, the topic in the Bundestag played thereafter no more role. But 1960 showed public opinion polls,that over 70 per cent of the population the re-establishment of the death penalty for big criminals endorsed. Also for the terror of the RAF into the 1970er years demanded parts of the population the re-establishment of the death penalty; this was however never again taken up in the parliament.

OneRe-establishment of the death penalty would be according to at present valid condition situation in the Federal Republic unconstitutional and futile, there each appropriate law against the superordinate kind. Would offend to 102 GG. This explains the death penalty without each restriction and thus absolutely for abolished. It goes therebyover the sixth supplementary protocol for European human right convention outside, which permits the death penalty for times of war and with direct Kriegsgefahr.

Disputed it is into right and politics-scientific literature the question whether and/or. under which condition kind. 102 GG to be changed or paintedcan, so that the death penalty could be introduced then again. For such a constitutional amendment would be according to kind. 79 GG a two-thirds majority in Bundestag and Bundesrat necessarily.

Some authors argue however that the cancellation of kind. 102 GG with the people protectionfrom kind. 1 exp. 1 GG incompatibly and with it in accordance with kind. 79 exp. 3 GG is inadmissible; Kind. 102 GG has - to a certain extent over „the detour “kind. 1 GG - at the eternity clause of the Basic Law part. Imposition and enforcementthe death penalty are thus in all cases an unconstitutional injury of the inviolable. Kind. Accordingly only getting straight function has 102 GG and is actually redundant - exaggerates said -. - A cancellation of kind. 102 GG is then howeverinnocuous, there kind. 1 exp. 1 GG the singlelegal introduction of the death penalty forbids anyway.

Other authors hold out to this argument the fact that itself the incompatability of death penalty and neither right-historically nor in the future durably lets occupy. They mean, which has condition giversthe death penalty for abolished explains, but straight done to leave this abolishment at the eternity warranty sharings so that circumstances remained conceivable, to which it again be introduced can.

Due to this unsettled condition rank of the death penalty prohibition is also the constitutionalValidity of the lifelong imprisonment not undisputedly. When absolute, indisputable punishment without appointment possibility is it in the German juridical system not possible, since a punishment is to always examine at its effect and be adapted if necessary (see. Decisions of the Federal Constitutional Court Bd. 45, S. 187-271). The newer legislation and practice for Institut of the special weight of the debt (§ 57a StGB) were not examined constitutionally yet. Their legal and sociopolitical evaluation is thereby open and is further discussed.


already since that 16. Century gave it here raids to limit or abolish the death penalty. They had in 18. Century first successes, when with „death penalty “particularly cruel forms intensified like wheels were abolished. Between 1787 and 1795 the death penalty became then outeconomic reasons completely abolished: One set the convicts instead to the hard labour in. 1795 were again introduced it however for high treason and 1803 also for other heavy crimes.

The penal reform of 1871 planned the death penalty only for murder. Duringthe 1. World war introduced the government however an emergency decree right , which punished again further crimes with death. It was used until 1919; then the 1 created. Austrian Republic of the death penalty for tidy procedures off. The dictatorship under Engelbert Dollfuss (ÖVP) 1934 fell back due to the February fights to never the formally abolished emergency decree right and led the death penalty for numerous crimes. After the connection of Austria 1938 the legal situation resembled that of the third realm.

In the 2.Republic was first still intended the death penalty for heavy crimes, 1950 however for tidy, 1968 also for procedures under martial law was abolished. The last two executions took place by Erhängen: after Austrian right to 24. March 1950 in the punishing national court Vienna, afterallied right in the US-American zone of occupation in February 1955.


the last execution in Sweden found in Stockholm to 23. December 1910 at a robbery murderer instead of. After this date expressed death penalties were not any longer implemented. 1921 became the death penaltyin times of peace abolished. In the course of the constitutional reform 1973 the death penalty was then finally abolished.

The last executed woman was Anna Månsdotter in the year 1890. Execution method was beheading with the hand axe.


in the civilian criminal law was since the earlyModern times beheading by the sword the usual execution method for to death condemned. Since 1835 in addition the Guillotine stepped whereby individual cantons granted the condemned one the choice between it and the sword. The latter to death condemned, alsothe sword was beheaded, was NIC louse Emmenegger (6. July 1867 in Luzern).

1848 had been already abolished the death penalty for political crimes in Swiss Federal Constitution. 1874 were finally generally forbidden it therein. Because of a clear increase that Criminality, which was to probably due to a recession at that time, was however already introduced the death penalty 1879 again.

1898 received the federation the authority to standardize the criminal law in Switzerland. But only to 21. December 1937 discharged that Parliament after violent debates a penal code, which excluded the death penalty definitely. This became at the 3. July 1938 in a popular vote forced by a referendum confirms and stepped at the 1. January 1942 finally into force. The conversion of the kantonalen upthe Swiss federal criminal law had above average for a long time retarded the exclusion of the death penalty.

As the latter after a civilian criminal procedure the 32-jährige became three-way murderers Hans Vollenweider from Zurich to 18. October 1940 in Sarnen in the canton Obwalden executed.

Swiss the military meeting right sawthe death penalty further for Landesverrat forwards. On this basis 2 became in. World war of 30 Swiss soldiers to death condemns; 17 of it was executed up to the end of war by shooting. Only to 20. March 1992 became this law after a parliamentary initiativeabolished by national council Massimo Pini of the liberty party (Tessin) of the Presidential Election Council.

Today article 10, paragraph 1 Swiss Federal Constitution reads:

Each humans have the right to lives. The death penalty is forbidden.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland

in 18. Century about 200 different crimes could be punished with death in the united king realm. However the application of the law was very non-uniform. Besides it lay in the discretion of the judge whether requests for grace of the condemned one became certified. Starting from 1861 the death penalty became only for Murder, high treason, Piraterie and heavy arson impose. In addition starting from 1868 any longer publicly one did not execute, because it had come before thereby frequently to force and thefts among the spectators.

1949 used the government a commission, the 1953a report on the for and against the death penalty published. Due to its recommendations the death penalty was only imposed starting from 1957 for particularly heavy cases by murder, for example at police officers in practice of the service. As a last woman were 1955 Ruth Ellis executed; the two robbery murderers Peter Anthony all and Gwynne Owen Evans became as last men to 13. August 1964 hung.

1965 were discharged the law Murder (Abolition OF Death Penalty) act, that the death penalty for murder forthe next 5 years suspended.1969, one year before expiration, were thus already decided, to extend the law for an unlimited period. Afterwards a death sentence was only possible for high treason or Piraterie, however for it was never executed.

In Northern Ireland was thoseDeath penalty formally still to 1973 permits. Since 1961 however no more executions took place. In October 1998 the death penalty in Great Britain and Northern Ireland was abolished also within the military range. There since 1942 nobody had been already executed more. Two parliamentary initiativesfor re-establishment failed. In December 1999 Great Britain ratified the second Fakultativprotokoll of the international pact over civil one and political rights, which fix the abolishment according to international law obligatorily.

Examples of the law practice in states with death penalty

People's Republic of China

death sentences become in Chinafor 68 different crimes imposes, among them also slight crimes like a falsifying of value added tax vouchers or vegetable theft. Death penalties become traditionally public before holidays, often also (z. B. in stages) executes, in order to demonstrate reaching through the state.

The condemned ones becomewithin only one week executed. Also „court penalty so mentioned “are used, in which a presumed author can be condemned directly at the place of the happening and executed with a poison syringe - without tidy hearing of evidence, right to anwaltliche defense, main negotiationor the possibility of inserting redresses. Therefore human rights activists proceed from many miscarriages of justice, which are not uncovered.

However 2004 was executed amnesty internationally according to there at least 3400 humans. Chen Zhonglin, a delegate of the congress of people and director of the institute for right of the southwest university in Chongqing, explained in March 2004, the presumed number of the executions in China lay with scarcely 10,000 per year.


Singapore is based the country with the highest execution rate, on the total population. Since 1991 at least 420 humans were executed, predominantlybecause of drug offenses. Authors, who possess at least 500 gram of Cannabis or 15 gram heroin with their arrest, are considered as drug dealers and compellingly to death are condemned. This applies also to foreign citizens. Attention excited 2002 the case of the 23-jährigen in MarchGerman Julia Bohl: It escaped only scarcely a threatening death sentence, because the quantity found with it was slightly under this border. Executions are executed by Erhängen, pardons are extremely rare.


head of state Muammar aluminium-Gaddafi announced already several times thatLibya the death penalty to abolish wants. So far this did not happen however yet, so that the death penalty in Libya can be imposed further for a multiplicity of crimes, among other things for drug and alcohol trade. Executions become with civilians by Erhängen,with military members by shooting executes. Some Exekutionen were transferred in the television, most take place however under exclusion of the public. Exact numbers are not well-known.

Death sentences from May 2004 excited international attention against several Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian physicianduring the so-called HIV process; they were waived in December 2005.


1954 was abolished the death penalty in the civil criminal law, maintained in the military meeting right however. Für NS-Verbrechen bestanden le seit Ausnahmegesetze 1950. These were used in the case Adolf of calibration man 1962 last.

After olympia assassination attempt of 1972 of Munich began the State of Israel with practice to seek out and kill proven public enemies world-wide. These actions were legitimized regularly by the Israeli prime minister and the safety cabinet and usually implemented then by the foreign secret service Mossad.

After a government resolutionIsrael led to 29. April 1979 the death penalty for terrorists , who committed particularly cruel notices. The decision in such cases will leave to the state lawyers. So far still no terrorist was condemned to death.


major items: Death penalty in the USA

In the first modern democracy and strongest industrial nation the death penalty, legally relating to domestic affairs and ethicalally for a long time one discusses. Some US Federal States - Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota - have it already in 19. Century abolished. Others against it have the death penaltyalways practices; Raids for the abolishment or suspension had and. A. in Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia never a chance.

A possible indirect connection about racingism is by the comparatively higher portion of death sentences against Afroamerikaner, thosein the poorer social class to find also more frequent are today given, until: After the Death Penalty information center were since 1976 58 per cent in the USA of the executing white ones and 34 per cent black one. Their portion of the total population amounts to 12Per cent, so that more black one are executed proportionally much than white ones. The evaluation of this statistics is disputed, among other things because black one also a higher portion of capital passing have. The woman barrister Kathi Grosso specialized in capital procedures calls this „discrimination due to the Geografie “:Who in a Federal State or circle with high Exekutionsquote is condemned, receive for the same crime twice as frequently the death penalty as in more liberal areas.

The highest Court of Justice (supreme Court) of the USA explained the death penalty 1972 for unconstitutional.Thus it was country widely abolished for four years, until it became again certified 1976 of supreme the Court. Since then over 1.000 executions were executed, over 3.000 condemned wait for it. Since the re-establishment 176 death candidates became because of proven innocence or serious procedural errorfrom the Todestrakt released; the proven miscarriages of justice, judicial errors and executions of innocent lie in the two digit range, their exact number are disputed. Critics speak here of judicial murders, since doubts and requests for grace were often not considered. After independent examiners in Illinois numerousMiscarriages of justice and defects of proceedings proved, exposed the governor of this Federal State, George Ryan, the executions in its Federal State 1999 and begnadigte to 167 death candidates to 12. January 2003 to life imprisonment.

Since the notices of the 11. Le septembre 2001 befürworteten l'über 60% the US citizen the death penalty. No applicant around the office for president dares therefore at present to take up their abolishment to his program. In recent time the agreement sinks to the death penalty however again.

On the federal level Court is incumbent on the supreme frequently the letztinstanzlicheExamination of individual capital procedures with relevance for the Federal Law. The US president cannot appoint new, removable Federal High Court Judges.George W. Bush - admits von Texas for its nearly going through refusal of requests for grace already as a governor - appointed a Federal High Court Judge after its re-election,that the death penalty clearly affirms. This probably makes majority decisions of the court for executions on years outside.

In the USA both death penalty proponents and their opponents are very strongly organized. In the numbers of the Abolitionists (Abschaffer) the catholic nun is Helen Prejean, the death candidates in the prison visited and up to the execution accompanies. Not least because of the initiatives and protests the supreme Court at the 1 decided of numerous NGOs and lawyer federations. March 2005: The death penalty for at the act time under 18-jährige contradicts that8. Additive of the condition, which cruel and unusual kinds of punishment against young people forbids. Since then persons under age may be executed in no more US Federal State at the act time. Thereupon first 122 death sentences were converted into lifelong imprisonments. The last executed offender under age was Scott Hain2003 in Oklahoma.

See also


  • Victor Hugo: The last day of a condemned one. C. Gosselin, Paris 1829 (franz. Erstausg.), Anakonda, Cologne 2005 (German). ISBN 3-938484-52-7
  • Albert Camus: Questions of the time. Rowohlt, Reinbeck 1997. ISBN 3499221950
  • Hashem Dezhbakhsh, Joanna M. Sheperd: The Deterrent Effect OF Capital Punishment. Evidence from A “Judicial experiment”. April 2004 (planned for publication).
  • Michael Kahr: Death penalty 2004. Yearbook. Kahr Media, prince-field-bridge 2004. ISBN 3935678045
  • Karl Barth: Church dogma TIC.Bd 3. The science of the creation. T 4. Theological publishing house, Zurich 1969, S.513-580 (3. Aufl.).
  • Christan Boulanger (Hrsg.): To the topicality of the death penalty, interdisciplinary and global perspectives. Berlin publishing house, Berlin 2002 (2.Aufl.). ISBN 383050277X
  • smelling pool of broadcasting corporations J. Evans: Rituals of the retaliation.The death penalty in German history 1532-1987. Kindler publishing house, Berlin 2001. ISBN 3463404001
  • Karl Bruno leather: Death penalty. Origin, history, victim. Meyster, Vienna 1980. ISBN 3705720090
  • franc Mueller: Controversy death penalty. Patmos, Duesseldorf 1998. ISBN 3491723809
  • Hans's J. Pieper (Hrsg.): If it gemordet however, then it must die. Classical author of philosophy to the death penalty. Dr. Günter Seubold, Alfter 2003. ISBN 3935404115
  • Dieter enrich: State, scaffold and debt feeling. „Which structure of state and death penalty have to do with one another. “ Leske+Budrich, Opladen 2003. ISBN 3810038318
  • Friedrich Küppersbusch, olive Becker:Lifelong death penalty. Concretely, Hamburg 2002. ISBN 3894581875


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