"'Death penalty abolition has a way to go'," is the Deutsche Welle interview with Jan Erik Wetzel of Amnesty International.
The strongest argument against the death penalty seems to be that innocent people could end up being convicted - and ultimately killed - for crimes they didn't commit. For instance, in the case of Maryland, DNA evidence exonerated former death row inmate Kirk Bloodsworth who then was released from prison after eight years. Do you know of similar cases?
Amnesty International opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, whether the person is innocent or guilty. If the person is guilty, after a fair trial, he or she should be given a prison sentence that is commensurate with the crime conducted. The death penalty is never applicable, because there should never be an end to hope for that particular prisoner.
We do know that since 1973 over 140 people have been exonerated in the US. However, only 18 of these have been exonerated due to DNA evidence showing and proving innocence. So DNA is not really the solution to all of this either. Quite often faulty witness statements, quite often police brutality [have] contributed to death sentences and unfair trials. So we think if these various mistakes want to be avoided, the death penalty needs to be abolished as such.