Home > The death penalty for drug offences 2019.

Sander, Gen and Girelli, Giada and Cots Fernández, Adria [Harm Reduction International] . (2020) The death penalty for drug offences 2019. London: Harm Reduction International. 50 p.

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URL: https://www.hri.global/death-penalty-2019


Harm Reduction International (HRI) has monitored the use of the death penalty for drug offences worldwide since our first ground-breaking publication on this issue in 2007. This report, our ninth on the subject, continues our work of providing regular updates on legislative, policy and practical developments related to the use of capital punishment for drug offences, a practice which is a clear violation of international law. 

The 2019 Global Overview highlights some of the most common violations of fair trial standards reported in capital drug cases across a range of jurisdictions, revealing systemic flaws and a particularly grave impact on vulnerable defendants. Indeed, many if not most individuals charged and sentenced to death for a drug offence have limited economic resources, and are from ethnic or racial minorities or are foreign nationals; they mostly occupy low-level positions in the drug trade and may have been deceived or coerced into taking part in drug-related activities. The legal analysis reflects the principle in international law that the imposition of a death sentence following conviction for a drug offence (not involving intentional killing) in proceedings which fail to meet international standards of fairness compounds the violations of the rights of the individual to life, to a fair trial, and to be free from torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. 

Harm Reduction International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception, regardless of the person accused and their guilt, the nature of the crime and the method of execution.

Item Type:Evidence resource
Publication Type:Report
Drug Type:Alcohol or other drugs in general
Intervention Type:AOD disorder, AOD disorder harm reduction, Crime prevention
Source:Harm Reduction International
Date:March 2020
Pages:50 p.
Publisher:Harm Reduction International
Place of Publication:London
EndNote:View
Subjects:MM-MO Crime and law > Crime > Substance related crime
MM-MO Crime and law > Substance related offence > Drug offence > Illegal transportation of drugs (smuggling / trafficking)
MM-MO Crime and law > Criminal penalty
MM-MO Crime and law > Law enforcement and the justice system
P Demography, epidemiology, and history > Population dynamics > Substance related mortality / death
VA Geographic area > International aspects

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