UN / DEATH PENALTY

03-Jul-2012 00:02:11
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon calls on Member States to abolish the death penalty, stressing, "the taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible." UNTV
Size
Format
Acquire
N/A
Hi-Res formats
DESCRIPTION
STORY: UN / DEATH PENALTY
TRT: 2.11
SOURCE: UNTV
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 3 JULY 2012, NEW YORK
SHOTLIST
FILE – 2011, UNITED NATIONS NORTH LAWN BUILDING

1. Wide shot, United Nations North Lawn Building

3 JULY 2012, NEW YORK

2. Wide shot, delegates and civil society at meeting
3. Wide shot, podium with Ban Ki-moon and ASG Ivan Simonovic
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“The taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict it on another, even when backed by legal process.”
5. Cutaway, audience
6. SOUNDBITE (English) Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations:
“I am also very concerned that some countries still allow juvenile offenders under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged offence to be sentenced to death and executed.”
7. Cutaway, audience applaud
8. SOUNDBITE (English) Barry C. Scheck, Co-Director, the innocence Project, New York:
“We have a lot of bad forensic science in the United States that has been used to convict innocent people.”
9. Cutaway, podium
10. SOUNDBITE (English) Barry C. Scheck, Co-Director, the innocence Project, New York:
“So if we have all these wrongful convictions in the United States that we can correct with DNA ad all these forensic assays now that are subject to new questions, I would think that there are a lot of wrongful convictions in various different justice systems whether you are adversary or inquisitional all around the world.”
11. Cutaway, delegate
12. SOUNDBITE (English) Navi Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights, OHCHR:
“I am calling upon states that have not yet done so to ratify the second optional protocol or as a strict minimum to place a formal moratorium on the use of death penalty until they are ready to work towards its abolition.”
13. Cutaway, delegate
14. SOUNDBITE (English) Kirk Bloodsworth, victim of wrongful and death sentence, United States:
“There was no physical evidence against me during the trail. I was convicted primarily on the testimony of five separate identification witnesses who were later shown to be terribly mistaken. It took the jury less than three hours to convict me and I was sentenced to die in Maryland gas Chamber. And when the gavel came down on my life the courtroom erupted in applause.”
15. Wide shot, meeting
STORYLINE
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today (3 July) in New York called on Member States that still have the death penalty, to abolish it.

Ban told a panel on the death penalty, organized by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) at UN Headquarters “the taking of life is too absolute, too irreversible, for one human being to inflict on another, even when backed by legal process”.

In 2007, the General Assembly endorsed a call for a worldwide moratorium of the death penalty. Since then, the practice has been abolished by countries like Argentina, Burundi, Gabon, Latvia, Togo and Uzbekistan. More than 150 States have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it.

However, Ban noted, the death penalty was still used for a wide range of crimes in various countries. While expressing his concern about 32 states retaining the death penalty for drug-related offences, and its use on juvenile offenders, Ban noted that, the call by the General Assembly for a global moratorium on the death penalty was “a stepping stone towards a full worldwide abolition of the death penalty”.

Barry C. Scheck the Co-Director of the “Innocence Project”, based in New York, said the United States had “a lot of bad forensic science” that had been used to convict innocent people.

Scheck said that the US was very advanced in the use of DNA testing and the sophistication of the police system, which led him to believe that if the US had so many wrongful convictions using DNA and other forensic assays, there must also be many wrongful convictions in justice systems all around the world.

High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay also called upon States which hadn’t done so yet to ratify the second optional protocol aiming at the abolishment of the death Penalty.

Kirk Bloodsworth, a victim of wrongful death sentence, and the first American to be exonerated by DNA fingerprinting told the panel there was no physical evidence against him during his trial in Maryland in 1985. He said he was convicted primarily on the testimony of five separate witnesses, “who were later shown to be terribly mistaken”.

Although resolutions calling for a moratorium on the use of the death penalty continue to be hard-fought in the UN General Assembly, the number of countries supporting the resolutions has progressively increased. In 2007, a resolution calling on countries that allow capital punishment to “progressively restrict the use of the death penalty and reduce the number of offences for which it may be imposed” was adopted with 104 votes in favour, 54 against and 29 abstentions. In 2010, when a similar resolution was last considered, it was adopted with 109 votes in favour, 41 against and 35 abstentions. The issue will again be discussed by the General Assembly during its 67th session this year.
Category
Source