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Drugs and the Death Sentence

  • By: Taj Mahon-Haft
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Across the globe, there are a number of nations with statutes allowing for the death sentences in drug-related convictions. While many countries have moved toward less punitive drug policies in recent years, there has been a simultaneous rise in the use of the death penalty in some nations, particularly in southeast Asia. These governments value the public display of enforcement, which they claim has a deterrent effect.

However, this practice has prompted criticism from human rights activists and harm reduction proponents, who focus on the absence of evidence demonstrating a deterrent effect and human rights violations associated with the practice. As a result, many international bodies have called for the abolition of the death sentence for drug crimes, including the United Nations (UN) and the European ...

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