“Death Penalty Fuels Violence in Iraq, Says U.N. Report”
Reuters, October 19, 2014
“Iraq should stop its widespread use of the death penalty, which is unjust, flawed and only fuels the violence it purports to deter, the United Nations said in a report on Sunday. Sixty people were hanged in Iraq by the end of August this year, and although that is fewer than the 177 who were executed in 2013, 1,724 people remained on death row. Iraq tends to carry out the sentence in batches because President Jalal Talabani opposes the death penalty so a vice president orders executions when he is out of the country…. Judges often pass death sentences based on evidence from disputed confessions or secret informants, condemning suspects who are unaware of their rights, may have been tortured and have no defense attorney until they arrive in court, the report said. Some convicts’ relatives said they had been offered a chance to avoid the death penalty by hiring a particular lawyer for $100,000, while many women detainees said they had been detained in place of a male relative, the report said.”
Quickie Analysis: The death penalty as a mechanism of justice is rather dependent on executing the right people. Without that, it just becomes another mechanism for corruption and sectarian violence.