- Death penalty
29. Drug-related offences do not meet the threshold of “most serious crimes” (see A/50/40, para. 449, and A/55/40 (Vol. I), para. 464). There is no persuasive evidence that the use of the death penalty is a greater deterrent than other methods of punishment in eradicating drug trafficking or other drug-related offences. Nevertheless, 32 countries or territories continue to impose the death penalty for drug-related offences in their legislation. In some countries, drug offences account for the majority of death sentences handed down and executions carried out.
30. Human rights treaty bodies continue to address the issue of the use of the death penalty for drug crimes. For instance, the Human Rights Committee recommended that Indonesia review its legislation to ensure that crimes involving narcotics are not punishable by death (CCPR/C/IDN/CO/1, para. 10).
31. The International Narcotics Control Board discussed the imposition of the death penalty for drug-related offences at its 109th session, held in February 2014. Subsequently, in a note verbale addressed to all Member States issued on March 2014, the Board encouraged States that still imposed the death penalty for drug-related offences to abolish that punishment.
The UN Secretary General releases a regular report on the question of the death penalty. It has consistently opposed the death penalty for drug offences on the grounds of international law and developing state practice. In 2014 the report also included reference to the INCB’s recommendation to states to abandon the death penalty for drugs.