In advance of the release of our 2014 Global Death Penalty Report tomorrow, here are 5 of the most common misconceptions about the death penalty.
The death penalty deters violent crime and makes society safer.
There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect.
More than three decades after abolishing the death penalty, Canada’s murder rate remains over one third lower than it was in 1976.
A 35-year study compared murder rates between Hong Kong, where there is no death penalty, and Singapore, which has a similar size population and executed regularly. The death penalty had little impact on crime rates.
The threat of execution is an effective strategy in preventing terrorist attacks.
The prospect of execution is unlikely to act as a deterrent to people prepared to kill and injure for the sake of a political or other ideology.