The death penalty is discriminatory. It is often used against the most vulnerable in society, including poor, ethnic and religious minorities and people with mental disabilities. Some governments use it to silence their adversaries. Where judicial systems are flawed and unfair legal proceedings are ongoing, there is always a risk of execution of an innocent person. Countries had abolished the death penalty altogether before the end of 2019, not after the investigation. There is no credible evidence that the death penalty discourages crimes more effectively than a prison sentence. In fact, the number of crimes from countries that have banned the death penalty has not increased. In some cases, they have actually decreased. In Canada, the homicide rate in 2008 was less than half that of 1976, when the death penalty was abolished. However, this is another ICCPR provision that could raise concerns as soon as the United States resumes the death penalty under the Federal Death Penalty Act. Article 6, paragraph 2, states that „the death penalty can only be imposed for the most serious crimes.”  In its first report to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, the United States stressed compliance with this provision and stated that the death penalty was applied only to those who resulted in crimes resulting in aggravating circumstances.  This assertion was soon replaced by the Federal Death Penalty Act of 1994, which extended the death penalty, among other things, to drug-related offences with large quantities of drugs or money and to the attempted murder of a public servant, juror, witness or family member of that person.
 In its subsequent report in 1995, the Human Rights Committee criticized the United States for extending the death penalty under federal law and encouraged the United States to revise the legislation.  Now that the federal government is going to re-execute prisoners, the Human Rights Committee will likely increase its demands in the United States to revise the Federal Death Penalty Act. The death penalty cannot be imposed if other ICCPR rights have been violated. For example, the death penalty is considered a violation of the right to freedom of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. This violation of human rights can occur before execution, execution or loss of life themselves. Some countries execute persons under the age of 18 at the time of perquission, others apply the death penalty to people with mental and intellectual disabilities, and several others apply the death penalty to unfair trials, in flagrant violation of international law and international standards.