Date: 03 Sep 2009

Drug Trafficking: Time to Abolish the Death Penalty

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This editorial will contend that the execution of people convicted of drug trafficking and other drug-related offences is a penalty that should be abolished as it is both ineffective as a policy measure and abhorrent in terms of human rights violation (Lines 2007). That conclusion will be offered after due examination of contrary arguments, and with respectful acknowledgement of the fact that different cultures have different beliefs as to what constitutes justice. The editorial will go on to argue that the international addictions science community has a responsibility to support the abolitionist cause—silence cannot be an appropriate response in the face of such continued and irrational judicial killings.

Context: The Continuation of the Death Penalty More Generally

If the death penalty were to be struck out generally from every retentionist country’s statute book, executions for drug offences would in passing of course be abolished. Since the end of the Second World War the strong tre...