n African Human Rights Law Journal - The death penalty in Africa

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1609-073X
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2096



This article examines the situation of the death penalty in Africa. It does so by addressing three main questions: First, to what extent is the death penalty in Africa in fact an issue about which one should be particularly concerned? Second, what are the restrictions on the death penalty in Africa? Third, what is to be done to strengthen the restrictions on the death penalty in Africa? In addition, the article examines the question whether article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and its related provisions will inspire the abolition of the death penalty. It is suggested that challenging mandatory death sentences, advancing procedural challenges, open debate on alternatives to the death penalty, and improving the national criminal justice system will strengthen restrictions on the death penalty in Africa. The article concludes that positive criminal justice reform rather than moralistic condemnation is the most effective route to the eventual abolition of the death penalty in Africa.

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