The Top 10 Things You Need to Know About Amnesty’s Death Penalty Report

Today, Amnesty International released its annual report on the use of the death penalty worldwide. Although 2013 saw more executions than in previous years and several countries resuming executions, there was also progress towards abolition in all regions of the world. Below, see the top 10 things you need to know from our newest report:

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5 Death Penalty Myths Debunked

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In advance of the release of our 2014 Global Death Penalty Report tomorrow, here are 5 of the most common misconceptions about the death penalty.

MYTH #1
The death penalty deters violent crime and makes society safer.

FACT
There is no convincing evidence that the death penalty has a unique deterrent effect.

More than three decades after abolishing the death penalty, Canada’s murder rate remains over one third lower than it was in 1976.

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Have You Seen This Powerful Statement From a Death Row Inmate?

In December 2013, Gawker sent letters to all U.S. death row inmates who had executions scheduled in the upcoming year. They received their first reply from Ray Jasper, who is scheduled to be put to death on March 19 (Photo Credit: Gawker)

In December 2013, Gawker sent letters to all U.S. death row inmates who had executions scheduled in the upcoming year. They received their first reply from Ray Jasper, who is scheduled to be put to death on March 19 (Photo Credit: Gawker)

On March 19th, 2014, Ray Jasper is scheduled to be executed in Texas. Amnesty International USA is sharing his words below from a letter posted on Gawker where Ray Jasper acknowledges that this letter “could be my final statement on earth.”

Amnesty International USA has issued an urgent action calling on Texas to not execute Ray Jasper on March 19th.

Mr. Nolan,

When I first responded to you, I didn’t think that it would cause people to reach out to me and voice their opinions. I’ve never been on the internet in my life and I’m not fully aware of the social circles on the internet, so it was a surprise to receive reactions so quickly.

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“I Believe Them to be Innocent”: Teenie Rogers on the Men Accused of Killing Her Husband

For nearly a decade, Teenie Rogers has been fighting for justice – but not in the way you might suspect.

In 1972 and ’73, three men were convicted of her husband’s murder and placed in solitary confinement following the murder. Together they are known as the “Angola 3.”

In a bizarre turn of events Teenie found herself fighting for justice – not just for her husband – but also for the men convicted of his murder.

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Thousands of Activists Brought Human Rights Home and This is What Happened

One night. One movement. There’s nothing like a stadium full of activists, human rights defenders, former prisoners of conscience, and musicians coming together to Bring Human Rights Home.

Imagine Dragons rocked the house. An amazing performance and heartfelt and humbling call to keep our eyes and hearts open to human rights.

Imagine Dragons performs at the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Imagine Dragons performs at the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Ms. Lauryn Hill rallied the crowd, keeping us all focused on “Working Hard” for human rights.

Ms. Lauryn Hill on stage at the #AmnestyConcert

Ms. Lauryn Hill on stage at the #AmnestyConcert

Pussy Riot’s Nadya and Masha, with Madonna, read powerful letters from Russian prisoners – and led the crowd in a chant of “Russia will be free!”

Masha and Nadya of Pussy Riot on stage at the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Masha and Nadya of Pussy Riot on stage at the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Finally, when The Flaming Lips, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon and dozens of Amnesty staffers and volunteers took the stage for the final song of the concert, it was more than just an amazing end to a memorable evening: it was the coming together of a powerful community — Amnesty’s network of human rights defenders.

Musicians and Amnesty staff and volunteers sing "I Shall Be Released" to close out the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Musicians and Amnesty staff and volunteers sing “I Shall Be Released” to close out the Bringing Human Rights Home Concert

Tonight thousands saw and heard the soundtrack of a human rights movement, led by a new generation of artists. Thousands more around the country and around the world engaged through their activism and through their social media channels. It is a human rights movement in high definition. And it is just the beginning.

Thank you to all the artists, celebrities, activists and volunteers who made this moment possible. Check back with us as this journey continues.