Adapted from the LL.M. thesis Can we end the Death Penalty? The role o f NGOs in the world-wide campaign completed at the University of British Columbia Faculty of Law, April 2011.
When one contemplates the universal status of the death penalty today, it is startling to realize the rapidity with which abolition, whether de jure or de facto , is occurring. It was not that long ago when universal abolition would have seemed a pipedream. Amnesty International’s 1979 pertinent world survey, for example, had this to say:
Widespread concern about the use of the death penalty as a matter of principle is felt only in a minority of countries. In most of the world, the death penalty is not a public issue and there is little to suggest that many societies regard putting someone to death after judicial process as abhorrent.1