Miscarriage of justice and the inability to correct it

It is impossible to avoid errors. Irrespective of the procedural safeguards provided by the judicial system and the achievements of science and technology, this system will always be managed by people – and to err is human. Moreover, mistakes are made by far more often than imagined by the majority. In 1975, the “Birmingham Six” were sentenced for life. 15 years later, in March 1991, the UK Court of Appeal overturned the conviction due to the absence of sufficient evidence. In 1976, there were convicted the “Guildfour Four”, for which the British Prime Minister Tony Blair offered public apologies thirty years later. All these people wouldn't have lived to hear the apologies had the death penalty been applied in the UK.

Since 1976, 123 people have been released from the death row in the US after their innocence had been established through DNA examination. There are also 23 documented cases that witness the executions of innocent people in the US since 1990ies.

Researchers argue that the number of such cases is larger, but it is difficult to find the truth after the execution. Such errors are also characteristic for the post-Soviet region. In particular, in the Russian Federation Alexander Kravchenko had been executed, whereas later Andrei Chikotilo was found to be the real killer. A similar example is the “Viciebsk Case”, in which 14 innocent people were convicted.

If a man is deprived of his life, he cannot be brought back to life in case of a mistake.

Death verdics in Belarus since 1990