United States ― Human Rights Council ― Death Penalty ― Sept. 2014
This joint stakeholder report addresses four main issues concerning the death penalty in the United States: 1) innocence; 2) lethal injection; 3) consular notification; and 4) Puerto Rico.
Since 1973, 146 individuals have been exonerated from death row, and a recent study suggests that if all death-sentenced defendants in the United States remained under sentence of death indefinitely, at least 4.1 percent would be exonerated. At least 10 individuals have been executed in the United States despite strong evidence of their innocence. Sixteen states that retain the death penalty have no compensation laws whatsoever for wrongful convictions.
The lethal injection procedure primarily used in the United States has come under constitutional challenge in a number of states as amounting to cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
The United States refuses to adopt legislation to give effect to the International Court of Justice’s order to provide review and reconsideration of the death sentences of the 51 Mexican nationals in the Avena case.
Federal prosecutors seek the death penalty in Puerto Rico, a territory with a nearly 100 percent Hispanic population, at a higher rate than in other jurisdictions.
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