QCOSTARICA – Capital punishment in Costa Rica was abolished in 1877 during the Government of Tomás Guardia. Costa Rica was one of five countries to abolish the death penalty for all crimes prior to the beginning of the 20th century.
Although almost 150 years have passed since that, other countries continue to apply the measure even in these times.
On December 16, 2022, the UN General Assembly adopted by a historic majority of almost two-thirds a resolution that unequivocally calls for all countries to establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, led by Costa Rica and Australia
“We oppose the death penalty at all times for all people. This is a matter of human rights and the inherent dignity of every human being. There is no evidence that capital punishment deters crime,” said Australia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, in a joint media release with Costa Rica’s Foreign Minister, Arnoldo André Tinoco.
The measure passed with 125 votes in favor, 37 against, and 22 abstentions. Negotiations extended throughout the year.
“Costa Rica abolished capital punishment in 1877 and under the country’s leadership, today we renew our commitment to the inherent dignity of every human being,” said Vice Chancellor Christian Guillermet.
Today, 4 out of 5 countries have abolished the death penalty or have stopped applying it. But even so, there are still some nations that have it.
According to Wikipedia, in the United States, capital punishment is a legal penalty throughout the country at the federal level, in 27 states, while abolished in 23 states and in the federal capital, Washington, D.C.
Costa Rica and the United States entered into an Extradition treaty in 1982 which was approved by the Costa Rican legislature in 1991. The treaty generally forbids Costa Rica from surrendering any criminal who would face the death sentence in the United States.
Costaricalaw.com Article 5 Capital Punishment of the treaty reads: When the offense for which extradition is requested is punishable by death under the laws of the Requesting State and the laws of the Requested State do not permit such punishment for that offense, extradition may be refused, unless, before extradition is granted, the Requesting State furnishes such assurances as the Requested State considers sufficient, that the death penalty shall not be imposed, or, if imposed, shall not be executed.