The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Pulling Back the Curtain to Expose a Flawed Regime. Gen Sander and Rick Lines. (2018)

The intersection between drug control and the death penalty represents a key nexus for human rights and drug reform advocacy and constitutes one of the most visible examples of the link between abusive law enforcement and drug control in the current period. The issue has emerged as a flashpoint of international debates on drugs and is one that raises important questions and challenges for both ‘abolitionist’ countries that oppose the death penalty and ‘retentionist’ States that continue to execute people. The death penalty for drug offences cannot be dismissed as simply an internal matter for States. Not only do executions for drug offences violate significant international human rights legal protections, domestic capital punishment laws in many cases cannot be separated from the influence of the international drug control treaty regime. This chapter will explore the question of the death penalty for drug offences and the challenges it presents for the international drug control regime more broadly.

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