Broken Beyond Repair

The death penalty is the ultimate, irreversible denial of human rights. It violates the right to life as proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the right to be free from cruel, inhuman and degrading punishment.

The death penalty is also a broken system that is too flawed to fix. In the United States and across the globe, the death penalty has been shown to be applied disproportionally against racial and ethnic minorities, the poor, and people with mental illness or intellectual disability. There is no evidence that the death penalty has any deterring effect or improves public safety at all. In the United States, repeated studies have shown that the death penalty costs far more public funds than alternative punishments.

Over two-thirds of the countries in the world – 140 – have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice.  In the U.S., 18 states plus the District of Columbia have abolished the death penalty, and 7 more have not carried out an execution in at least 10 years. More and more states are learning that the death penalty is broken beyond repair.

Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all cases without exception regardless of the nature of the crime, the characteristics of the offender, or the method used by the state to kill the prisoner.

Death Penalty Updates
The state of Georgia is set to execute Kelly Gissendaner next week, on Tuesday September 29. In some ways this case is unusual, even exceptional; in other ways, it’s business as usual – especially in...
Press Release
Alfredo Prieto, a Salvadoran man, is scheduled to be executed in Virginia today, despite evidence that he has intellectual disability which would render his execution unconstitutional.Alfredo Prieto,...

A Texas appeals court issued a stay of execution in the case of Bernardo Abán Tercero a day before he was due to be put to death. The stay has been granted so that the courts can consider the claim...


An alarming number of countries used the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security linked to terrorism, crime or internal instability in 2014, Amnesty International found...