How to use the database
The Hands off Cain Database is the primary source of real-time information on the death penalty worldwide. The bilingual Database, in English and Italian, is structured according to specific years (for the moment, data is available from 1999 onward) and to continents, under which the various countries are grouped according to political as well as geographic criteria.The Database´s two search engines make it possible to find out more about the situation in different countries and the events that have taken place within a particular period.Concerning the situation on the death penalty in the five continents:
For each year, the following is also provided:
- For each state, the following is indicated briefly: political and constitutional systems; religion(s) practiced; international agreements on human rights and on the death penalty that the country has acceded to (excluding those of a regional nature when the state has ratified their international counterparts); method of execution; number of death sentences and executions for the year in question; and the number of death row inmates.
- The section headed "Facts" documents the laws that provide for the death penalty (and the capital crimes) and those that abolish it, and the most significant developments in previous years;
- The section headed "International Organizations" lists all the speeches that each state has made at the international level, and the position adopted by international organizations toward that state with regard to the death penalty.
- The "News" section gives a more detailed description of the most important juridical events that have occurred and the political statements that have been made in the country during 1999, dedicating individual sections to the most significant ones. Sources are indicated below each news item (international news agencies, local information bodies, media web sites, governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations).
The colored map on the home page illustrates the present death penalty situation worldwide and is accompanied by a list indicating the status of each country, i.e., abolitionist, retentionist, etc.The following search methods are available:
- The "World Situation" as of 31 December of the year in question: list of countries that are abolitionist, retentionist, etc.;
- A "Summary of the Most Important Developments" that occurred that year;
- "Editorials" on the general death penalty situation that year;"Documents," an appendix containing agreements, resolutions, sentences and documents of historical significance, but which are also relevant to the year under review.
- Option 1: Search for information contained in the Database by:1. Typing in the beginning and end date for the search in the appropriate fields;2. Typing in a keyword in the full-text search field;3. Conducting a keyword search by selecting from three drop-down menus; all terms specified must appear in a document (AND) to be returned;4. Selecting whether the search should return a list of countries or a list of articles. Note: Nos. 2 and 3 are alternative search methods.
- Option 2: Search for all the countries that use a particular method of execution. Choose from among all possible methods of execution on the drop-down list situation (contained in a table). This search returns a list of countries.
- Option 3: Search for all countries that have acceded to a particular international agreement (signature, ratification, etc.). Search by selecting the agreement from the International Agreements drop-down menu. The search returns a list of countries.
- Option 4: Search for the death penalty status of a country (abolitionist, retentionist, etc.), its political system (single-or multi-party) and religion. Select the search term from the three drop-down menus (all terms specified must appear in a document (AND) for it to be returned). The search returns a list of countries.