ICLA contribution: Chapter on ‘The right to life and the progressive abolition of the death penalty’ by Christof Heyns & Thomas Probert
Capital punishment is irrevocable. It prohibits the correction of mistakes by the justice system and leaves no room for human error, with the gravest of consequences. There is no evidence of a deterrent effect of the death penalty. Those sacrificed on the altar of retributive justice are almost always the most vulnerable. This book covers a wide range of topics, from the discriminatory application of the death penalty, wrongful convictions, proven lack of deterrence effect, to legality of the capital punishment under international law and the morality of taking of human life.