My name is Oliviero Toscani and I speak on behalf of the Transnational Radical Party on item 17 and in particular on the question of the Death Penalty.
Mr. Chair, Unfortunately, the world is still divided into countries and nations, this place is a proof of it. And, strangely enough, we do regard ourselves belonging to the different races. It is not officially allowed yet to belong to one single race, the Human Race.
If you have the chance to belong to the unofficial human Race, like many people and myself, you have the bad chance to encounter major difficulties in the modern world.
One of these difficulties is accepting the fact that in some parts of the world still exists the Death Penalty, capital executions, legalized murders. I am not going to bore you by telling all the reasons why it should be eliminated, because by now it is clear to everybody that the Death Penalty is not a remedy a all. But I want to tell you that the Death Penalty, unfortunately, is not just a problem for those countries who practice it, for those who believe in it, for those who it is real, for those countries which kill thinking to make justice. The problem is that, for myself, as for many of my peers who belong to the Human Race, we do not want to belong to the unhuman Race that still executes, who are on the side of legal murder. We do not want to belong to that unhuman Race who legalizes the work of an executioner, and we do not want to belong to the unhuman Race that kills for justice.
The Death Penalty is a problem for civilized people and society, the Death Penalty and civilization are a contradiction in terms. It is almost ridiculous to still speak about it today in April, 2001, for the real and only Human Race is as ridiculous as speaking about slavery, but for abolishing it, it took a long time and lots of violence.
The Death Penalty has no reason to belong to any justice system. The Death Penalty belongs in a system based on revenge, discrimination and violence, where the easiest way to get rid of the justice problem is just by killing.
Recently, I had the opportunity, as a photographer, to enter six US prisons where I photographed 26 inmates on Death Rows.
I was struck by the look in their eyes; they all had the same drama in their expression. The drama of a failed life, the drama of no future. These are things that you only get to see at the movies, and that you hope you only see at the movies. When you realize that they can be also real, you start to panic. The reality of the Death Row is one of those things.
The Death Row smells of death, of moribund people, of a morgue of alive people waiting to be executed in cold blood under the supervision of testimonies who want their sense of revenge satisfied - like in the worst motion picture.
Well, if you belong to the Human Race, you do not want revenge, you want justice and you do not want to be a collaborationist of other humans who kill thinking they are doing the right thing. Killing can never be right. It is not a question of country, from east to west, religion, political system, education, tradition, cultural limits, the question is that everybody knows that killing is wrong. We should teach this to our children - how can we do that if we continue to execute people? It is not anymore a question of who is guilty and who is innocent, because this is a mistake. The problem comes down to the execution in and of itself as well as for those who are guilty. It is Cain,,we have to understand the meaning of Hands Off Cain in this respect.
The countries who practice the Death Penalty should also have the courage to make it public. They should stop hiding behind their violence.
I am very pleased to be here today, in such an important place, speaking to you about ending the Death Penalty. Because one day, and I hope soon, my grandchildren will be proud of their grandfather, who fought for the elimination of the Death Penalty as I am proud of my grandfather who fought for twenty years against fascism, because we all do belong to the only Human Race existing.