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"Poverty and death penalty are inextricably linked"

Today, eighty-seven countries are still applying the death penalty. The activists against the death penalty Florence Bashir and Dimitris Christopoulos explain, in a forum to the "World", that it aims above all the most deprived.

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"Our justice system treats you better if you are rich and guilty than if you are poor and innocent," says Bryan Stevenson of NGO Equal Justice Initiative. This is a good summary of some American justice.

This observation glazing is unfortunately in or latitudes. Poverty and death penalty are inextricably linked to four corners of globe. In addition to being an inhuman, ineffectual and irreversible punishment, capital punishment is proving to be profoundly unfair and discriminatory. The 15th World Day to combat capital punishment on 10 October will show it amply.

READ ALSO: Who practices death penalty in world?

Because facts are re, relentless. In United States, 95% of condemned planters in death row come from disadvantaged backgrounds according to Equal Justice Initiative. Their office lawyers often do not have means to pursue genetic or ballistic expertise to dismantle version of accusation ...

Same striking finding in India. Over re, 74% of condemned to death are "economically vulnerable", according to a recent study by University of New Delhi. Of se, 20% have never been in school.

The Vietnamese Penal Code, in its version of June 2017, provides that persons sentenced to death for corruption but able to make 75% of sum y have earned by ir package, will see ir sentence commuted to life imprisonment

In question, again, a largely flawed legal representation. While law provides for access to a lawyer prior to first appearance, 89% of death row convicts claim not to have been entitled to it. Mindful of this bias, Supreme Court of India considered in a judgment of 2013 that poverty should be considered a mitigating circumstance (Sunil D. Gaikwad against state of Maharashtra). In that case, judges commuted a sentence to death in prison for life. Modest victory, however, since supreme punishment is still in force.

Anor country, anor context ... but such blatant discrimination: in Nigeria, poorest are, again, first targets of capital punishment as shown in an investigation by NGO Legal Defence and Assistance Project. His secretary general, Chino Obiagwu, summed up situation: "The question of guilt is almost secondary in our criminal system." It is a question of wher you can keep away from legal system by paying police at investigation stage, by paying a lawyer to defend you or by paying to have your name on list of those eligible for a pardon. »

Europe comes out of way – with exception of Belarusian ' case '

In Saudi Arabia, it is migrant workers who are particularly affected by supreme punishment. There is nothing surprising: y are ostracized because of ir foreign nationality, have a bad language skills and often do not have means to pay Diyat – sum to be paid to victim's family to ask for cancellation of execution.

This situation obviously does not concern poorest, generally not guilty of corruption, but clearly illustrates impact of social situation in fact of being or not executed. The Vietnamese Penal Code, in its version of June 2017, applicable from January 2018, provides that persons sentenced to death for corruption but able to make 75% of sum y have earned by ir package, will see ir sentence commuted to imprisonment at Life.

Europe has been spared from this macabre tour of world. And for cause, continent has gradually become abolitionist. Remains Belarusian "case". And in this country again, death penalty and social misery go clearly toger.

The death penalty does not aim, at bottom, worst criminal

Why are smaller ones discriminated against? First of all because legal aid – which allows m to benefit from a defender paid by community – is often not at height of his mission. Having an office lawyer is one thing, picking up a competent and having means to carry out a real counter investigation, is anor ... In addition, re are a number of obstacles, linked to social environment in which disadvantaged people evolve.

As economist Esr Duflo very aptly says, " poor are not rich without money." Their precariousness is not only financial. We know, for example, that y have difficulty in accessing law professionals. Complicated, refore, to enforce "ir" rights ...

In United States, 156 condemned to death have been exonerated since 1973. One every three months

It is also known that y do not have high-placed relays or expanded address books. However, in countries reaversed by corruption, sentence that we are bailing on can largely depend on support that we have – or not – within regime. Clearly, discrimination is a full play. But first to suffer, stigmatized and marginalized, often do not have means to denounce it.

READ ALSO: After a long process, Mongolia abolishes death penalty

In addition to being humanly and morally intolerable, legally debatable, politically often exploited by unscrupulous governments, supreme punishment proves to be profoundly discriminatory. It does not aim, at bottom, worst criminal but one who has received worst lawyer or most deprived lawyer. A finding all more glazing that he reveals, in Hollow, anor: With such a flawed defence, one probably condemns to death ... wrongly. In United States, 156 condemned to death have been exonerated since 1973. One every three months.

How long will this iniquitous sentence last? That's whole point. The current global trend is clearly abolished: Forty years ago, sixteen countries were abolitionist, y are 141 today. The death penalty is clearly in agony. Hurry his disappearance.


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