In recent months, we have seen significant progress on the path leading toabolition of the death penaltywith countries like Armenia, Ghana and Malaysia, which have decided to abandon the use of capital punishment and executions.

A commitment confirmed by the United Nations General Assembly, which in 2022, renewed its commitment to a universal moratorium against executions. An initiative launched in previous decades by Italian politics and civil society, which in 2022 found the consensus of 125 countries.

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The death penalty around the world

In recent years, globally, we have witnessed a significant reduction in executions and death sentences. Currently, around three-quarters of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty, both in law and in practice. Even some states that have not yet officially repealed it have not imposed the death penalty in several years.

In particular, in 2023, countries have been divided into 147 abolitionists (by law or de facto) and 52 who maintained the death penaltyconcentrated mainly in African and Asian areas.

As for 2022, the year for which we have more complete data, 883 executions and 2016 convictions were recorded. Figures certainly too high, but down sharply compared to previous years: thirty years earlier, in 1992, capital executions were 1,708, while in 2002 they were still 1,526. In 2012, they fell to 682, but in 2017, five years later, 993 executions and 2,591 death sentences were recorded.

In addition to Armenia, Ghana and Malaysia, in 2022 Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone and the Central African Republic will also be present. they abolished the death penalty for all crimeswhile Equatorial Guinea and Zambia abolished it only for non-military crimes.

The death penalty in Italy

Italy maintained the death penalty until 1889, when, with the approval of the new Zanardelli Penal Code, the government decided to abolish it throughout the Kingdom.

But during this twenty-year period, the fascist regime decided to reintroduce it, carrying out dozens of death sentences.

Her the definitive abolition took place on January 1, 1948, with the entry into force of the Italian Constitution. Then, in 1994, the death penalty was also abolished in the Military War Penal Code, replaced by life imprisonment.

Italy and opposition to capital punishment

Over the past decades, Italy and many national and international civil society organizations, including “Hands Off Cain”, the “Community of Sant’Egidio” and “Amnesty International”, have played a crucial role in promoting the abolition of capital punishment and in promoting the abolition of capital punishment. raising awareness among the European population and political institutions in international institutional contexts.

It was precisely on the Italian initiative that in 1997 the UN Commission on Human Rights approved a resolution call for a moratorium on capital executionswhich could ultimately lead to a complete abolition of the death penalty.

The moratorium, unlike the abolition, is configured as a temporary suspension of capital punishmentwhich does not provide for a definitive suppression of the legislation, but which at the same time avoids the use of convictions and executions.

The proposed resolution, repeated every year, never obtained the approval of the General Assembly. It was only in 2007, thanks to the commitment of the Italian government and civil society organizations, that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the “Universal Moratorium on the Death Penalty”. A historic decision, which in 2022 managed to gather the vote of 125 countries.

Precisely on the occasion of the last World Day Against the Death Penalty, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the firm opposition from Italy to capital punishmentrecalling that the country has always been at the forefront of the international campaign for a universal moratorium on executions, widely seen as the first step towards the global abolition of the death penalty.

By yec3d

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