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Time to abolish the death penalty in Zimbabwe: Exploring the views of its opinion leaders

  • Reports and Studies
  • 6 Jun 2020

This report draws on in-depth interviews with 42 opinion leaders on the death penalty, their knowledge of the criminal justice system, the likelihood of abolition and how that could be achieved. They represent the fields of politics, public service, law, religion, civil society, academia, and defence.

The main finding indicates that 90% of those interviewed supported abolition of the death penalty.  Other key findings include: –

On the opinion leaders’ trust in the criminal justice system:

  • 64% did not trust the criminal justice system to prevent miscarriages of justice
  • 79% believed wrongful convictions occur
  • 60% believed that innocent people have been sentenced to death

 On Zimbabwe’s reputation on the death penalty and support for abolition:

  • 90% saw the death penalty as an abuse of human rights or against their religious beliefs
  • 64% believed retention of the death penalty has damaged the country’s international reputation
  • 69% believed that the death penalty does not deter violent crime

The report is published in partnership with Zimbabwean NGO Veritas. The research was designed and analysed by Professor Carolyn Hoyle at the University of Oxford and the interviews were conducted by the Mass Public Opinion Institute, a Zimbabwean research organisation.

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