On 10 October 2013, the 11th World Day Against the Death Penalty is dedicated to the Greater Caribbean where few executions take place, but where a core of countries remain strongly opposed to abolition.
No executions have taken place since 1997. However, it is one of three countries on the American continent that maintains the death penalty in its legislation. In October 2010, the Parliament of Guyana adopted a bill abolishing the mandatory imposition of the death penalty against individuals convicted of murder. The death penalty, however, remains applicable for certain categories of murder.
Guyana has the opportunity to join the group of democratic countries that develop legal systems which work for justice, where public safety is guaranteed and life is respected.
Although the criminal justice system must, through fair and effective measures, prevent and curb violent crimes and protect victims, we hold that the death penalty is a human rights violation, that it is not a deterrent, it does not make societies safer, and it does not address the root causes of crime and violence.
We urge Guyana to abolish the death penalty in law for all crimes.