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The moratorium on death penalty

Francisco GoyaOn 18th December 2007 a committee of the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty, proposed by Italian government. A “resolution” is a final decision of an assembly. Especially for the United Nations it is the main juridical act not legally binding, but only symbolic and exhortative. Italy was the driving force behind the vote.
Human rights activists believe that the strongly-backed call for the moratorium is an important step towards the abolishment of death peanlty all over the world.
A series of amendments were opposed by the opponents to the moratorium, but they were all rejected by the assembly: a total of 99 countries voted for a suspension of capital punishment worldwide, while 52 voted against and 33 abstained.
Although the vote will not oblige the countries to give up death penalty, this is a significant demonstration of a historical change in the international opinion, also considered that nowadays almost 130 countries have already outlawed the practice of capital punishment. Singapore led the opposition and the United States were among the group of opponents too. However, after a strenuous and sometimes blazing debate, the vote put an end to a punishment that more and more people judge barbarian and cruel and hope it will belong to our shameful past. Italy, which in the past had kept up pressure for the UN Moratorium and had worked hard to obtain the vote, considers now the moratorium an authentic success.

If you wish to find out which countries are still retaining the usecapital punishment, click here.

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