The Case of Death Penalty: A Hypothetical Perspective from German Constitutional Law
Volume 1 Issue 1 (2008)
The Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany was properly put into force as constitution in 1949. It is well known that there has been no death penalty in Germany ever since. Less known is that it is Art.102 of this Basic Law of Germany (GG) that has abolished the death penalty in Germany. This was the result of then convincing considerations after the disaster of the former regime in Germany and its outrageous abuse not only of that sanction of criminal law. Since presently in India there is a discussion if the state should use and apply the death penalty in future1, it might be of interest what arguments would justify nowadays the absence of the death penalty in Germany under its present constitution. This does not relate to any debate of that kind in the country nor is there any motion in that direction, for instance with the intention to abolish Art. 102 GG by amendment and its replacement by inserting a positive clause in the opposite direction. If that ever was the case, the stand would be taken immediately that such an undertaking is not possible.