On 10 October 2010, the 8th World Day Against the Death Penalty will be dedicated to the USA which executed 52 people and handed down 106 death sentences in 2009.
The USA is one of the only federalist country which gives the states the power to legislate on the issue of the death penalty. At present there are 15 abolitionist states and 35 retentionist states in the USA, although among retentionist states, 10 have not carried out any executions for at least 10 years.
In recent years, abolitionist measures have be spreading throughout the nation, which is clearly divided on the issue. According to Amnesty International, death sentences in the USA reached a high in 1994 but have dropped over 60 percent in the past decade. In 2009, New Mexico became the 15th state to legislatively abolish the death penalty.
It is hoped that this world day will strengthen the trend towards abolition in the USA and also the trend towards universal abolition. It is an opportunity to publicly oppose the use of this inhuman, cruel and degrading punishment and to support those in the USA who are fighting for its abolition.
This year, the WCADP is also a partner of Poster For Tomorrow, an international poster competition which in 2010 has universal abolition of the death penalty as its theme.
Entries are now open: http://www.posterfortomorrow.org
On 10 October 2009, take action against the death penalty!
Join hundreds of initiatives organised worldwide to teach abolition
Wherever you are
In Africa, America, Asia, Oceania or Europe
Whoever you are
NGOS, teachers, lawyers, local representatives, parliamentarians, artists, reporters, religious leaders, citizens
Whatever your plans are
Debates, concerts, press conferences, demonstrations, petitions, educational and cultural activities...