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Name: Rahul Gabbita

Committee: GA-6 Legal


Agenda: Death Penalty
Country: Kingdom of Belgium



Death. One word defines the end of everything a person has lived for. Death Penalty or
Capital Punishment is the act of executing someone as punishment for a particularly serious
crime after a legal trial.

Should the state award death to an alleged criminal? Should it be vengeful and cruel just like
the criminal it intends to punish? The answer is simple and straightforward.. No. It is not
something a progressive, reformist state of the 21
st
Century would do.

The Kingdom of Belgium strongly believes that death penalty is a merciless and inhuman
act. In letter and spirit, we abide by Article 3 of United Nations Universal Declaration of
Human Rights that states Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.
We do not take this stand in a casual or condescending manner but with utmost honesty and
conviction and we mention the following points to substantiate our point of view.

the fact that the last execution in Belgium took place in 1950 bears testimony to our
commitment to the ideology.
In fact the last time a non-war death punishment was imposed in Belgium was in
1918 though we formally abolished capital punishment only in 1996.
Our seriousness to anti-capital punishment is signified to the citizens of the nation
and to the world by including article 14bis that prohibits death penalty in the Belgian
constitution.





The reasons that inspire us to be steadfast in our purpose are the following
1. The purpose of the legal system is to rehabilitate the criminals and reinitiate them
into the society. What reform can be achieved in death? To that end, the death
penalty is quite contradictory to the justice system as it goes against its very purpose.
2. Securing the lives of citizens is the most important responsibility of the state. We
cannot relinquish this responsibility by taking the easier option of using death penalty
as a deterrent.
3. The fact that homicide in Belgium in particular and in countries that have abolished
death penalty in general are much lower than those in the countries that retain it. The
U.S., with the death penalty, has a higher murder rate than the countries of Europe or
Canada, which do not use the death penalty.
4. Flawed verdicts can result in death to innocent citizens. And there is nothing that the
state can do later to rectify this error. And we remind you that no less than 4% of
executions end up with the wrong persons head on the chopping block.

We are aware of the fact that several of the developed and powerful nations including the
United States Of America support capital punishment. And they would have their reasons,
as we have ours.

The most common argument that the nations on the other side of the debate put
forth is that death penalty acts as a deterrent to murder. However, surveys of the
most pre-eminent criminologists prove otherwise. 87% of them believe that abolition of
the death penalty would not have any significant effect on murder rates .

The other argument that it is a burden on the exchequer to keep the criminal in
rehabilitation or asylum is indefensible as the value of a human life cannot be and should
not be measured in dollars. We strongly believe that it is the responsibility of the state to
provide the criminals an opportunity to reform by providing the necessary counseling and
conditions.


Thus, in line with the moral stand of our citizens ,the King and the successive governments,
Belgium strongly opposes sentencing and executing its citizens. Instead, it believes that
imprisonment without parole after a proper trial can lead to reform and rehabilitation. . . It
also hopes that other retentionist countries realise its negative implications and establish a
moratorium or progressively restrict its use according to international minimum standards.






BIBLIOGRAPHY

http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/capitalpunishment/
http://www.unbrussels.org/component/content/article/1-latest-news/517-10th-
anniversary-of-world-and-european-day-against-the-death-penalty.html
http://www.eu-un.europa.eu/articles/en/article_6337_en.htm
http://ccrjustice.org/files/CCR%20Death%20Penalty%20Factsheet.pdf

Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology