Capital Punishment Impact Initiative

Bringing an end to capital punishment, worldwide

Monash University’s Faculty of Law and the Capital Punishment Justice Project (CPJP, formerly Reprieve Australia) have joined together with a shared ambition – to end the death penalty worldwide. Together, we are creating and developing a world-leading site for international anti-death penalty efforts. Our aim is to provide a regional hub for policy, evidence-based research, network-building, and clinical case-work devoted to abolition of the death penalty in our time.


Capital punishment ends lives, destroys families, and operates in discriminatory and arbitrary ways throughout the world. It has no proven deterrence value or other demonstrated public benefits. In reality, the most poor, vulnerable, and marginalised members of society are over-represented in death penalty statistics worldwide.

However, the situation has improved in recent decades. For the first time in human history, countries who maintain capital punishment are now in the minority, although the Asia-Pacific region remains one of its last bastions. The aim of the Capital Punishment Impact Initiative is to ‘Change It. For Good’.

Amnesty International estimates that in 2018, just under 700 prisoners were executed worldwide (excluding China); 2,500 prisoners were sentenced to death and there were roughly 20,000 people on death row.

For those who are appealing their sentences, awaiting execution, or seeking clemency, the process is often prolonged for many years - an agonising punishment in itself, that also gravely affects the lives of family, the local community and all parties to the proceeding.

Research shows that there is no reliable, sound evidence to demonstrate that the death penalty is an effective deterrent to the commission of crime. Nor does it solve crime or make the community safer.