Saturday, March 06, 2010

Issues raised in the Geneva Assembly for Abolition

"If you want to keep the death penalty, you have to pay for it. This stark message came from a consideration of the inadequacies of the legal process leading to death sentences. Prosecutors are funded to a level three to four times more than the defence, and the facilities available to the prosecution are far beyond those available to defenders. Even in the wealthiest country of all there is no legal aid for appeal, the condemned are buried in their cells and forgotten as they await their fate. The scales of justice do not stand on a level base. The death rows of the world feature the worst aspects of the prison system where the crowds destined for execution are detained in conditions that fall far short of human dignity."

In Thailand all prisoners on death row are shackled permanently; the Corrections Department claims that this measure is necessary as it cannot afford adequate staff to ensure control of death row prisoners. The Administrative Court has ruled that this is the problem of the Corrections Department, and that prisoners should not be ill-treated as a consequence. The Corrections Department refuses to accept the ruling and appeals.

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