“The cornerstone of human rights is respect for the inherent dignity of all human beings and the inviolability of the human person. Human Rights Watch opposes capital punishment in all countries and in all circumstances because the inherent dignity of the person is inconsistent with the death penalty. This form of punishment is unique in its cruelty and finality, and it is inevitably and universally plagued with arbitrariness, prejudice, and error.
October 10, 2011 is the ninth annual World Day against the Death Penalty, and this year marks 35 years since the United States reinstated capital punishment in 1976. In that time, 1,271 people have been electrocuted, shot, hanged, gassed, or put to death by lethal injection. In September, the state of Georgia executed Troy Davis despite significant doubts about his guilt. Texas executed its 475th prisoner since 1976. During that time, Texas has by far executed the largest number of people of any US state.”