International Death Penalty Abolition Day

1 March 2010 -- is International Death Penalty Abolition Day, a day that marks the occasion in 1847 when the state of Michigan became the first English-speaking territory in the world to abolish capital punishment. The death penalty is a violation of human rights, as stated in Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In 2008, there were 2,390 known executions in 25 countries. In December, the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights adopted a resolution calling on African states to observe a moratorium on the death penalty. As laudable as an Africa-wide moratorium would be, it would have a small impact on the global number of executions. Five countries, none of which are in Africa, were responsible for 93% of executions in 2008.

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