Abolition of the death penalty

. lecture : 1 minute

French diplomacy worldwide engage in a campaign to abolish the death penalty.

The death penalty is not justice, it is a failure of justice. 

The death penalty is not a useful instrument for fighting crime. 

The loss of human life it entails is irreparable, and no legal system is immune from miscarriages of justice. 

Resorting to the death penalty is not a mere instrument of criminal policy, it is a violation of human rights.

International Campaign to Abolish the Death Penalty

The event World Day Against the Death Penalty, organized by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, is held on 9 October in Paris. And, if you're still unsure, read On Crimes and Punishments, by Cesare Beccaria (1764) :

The more immediately, after the commission of a crime, a punishment is inflicted, the more just and useful it will be. It will be more just, because it spares the criminal the cruel and superfluous torment of uncertainty, which increases in proportion to the strength of his imagination and the sense of his weakness.


The terrors of death make so slight an impression, that it has not force enough to withstand the forgetfulness natural to mankind, even in the most essential things; especially when assisted by the passions. Violent impressions surprise us, but their effect is momentary; they are fit to produce those revolutions which instantly transform a common man into a Lacedæmonian or a Persian; but in a free and quiet government they ought to be rather frequent than strong.

Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishments (full text)

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