Global Debate on Death Penalty in the Era of Terrorism
Advocate, The Supreme Court of India
Dr. Juri Goswami
Research Scholar, The National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam
This paper analyses international debate on death penalty in the terror - hit 21 st century. A decade and half of the new century has already passed. It has witnessed an unprecedented rise in executions . Ever since the 11 September 2001 (9/11) terrorist attacks on the US, there has been almost a legislative upsurge world over to pass draconian counter - terrorism laws. Death penalty happens to be a major feature of such laws. Guantanamo Bay detention camp is a vivid example of the so - called exceptional measure adopted by the US to face an exceptional threat of terrorism. The controversial practices such as water - boarding, confinement, sleep deprivation, rendition and detention, used by CIA to interrogate terror suspects have been widely debated. In this heated debate over national security and personal liberty, even the courts in democratic nations have at times upheld validity of such laws. Thus, judiciary has awarded death sentence to terror convicts. The global figures on the use of the death penalty in 2015 revealed two starkly divergent developments. On one hand, four countries abolished the death penalty, reinforcing the long - term trend towards global abolition. On the other hand, the number of executions recorded by Amnesty International during 2015 increased by more than 50% compared to 2014 and constituted the highest total that Amnesty International has reported since 1989, excluding China. It is necessary to analyse views of protagonists and antagonists of death penalty.