government: federal presidential republic
state of civil and political rights: Free
constitution: 5 October 1988
legal system: based on Roman codes
legislative system: bicameral National Congress and the Chamber of Deputies
judicial system: Supreme Federal Tribunal
religion: Roman Catholic (nominal) 73.6%, Protestant 15.4%, other
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant
Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
American Convention on Human Rights
Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to abolish the Death Penalty
Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture
Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)
The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Brazil said at Art. 5, XLVII "There will be no penalties of: a) death, except in cases of declared war as defined in Art. 84, XIX". Art. 5 is included under Title II, "Fundamental Rights and Guarantees."
Brazil has been abolitionist for ordinary crimes since 1979. It had first abolished the death penalty in 1882, but it was reintroduced in 1969 for political crimes only for the next decade. There were no executions during this period, the last execution dates way back to 1855.
Only the Supreme Court has the competence to grant extradition. It does not do so when the defendant risks the death penalty or a penalty more severe than the one s/he would have, for the same crime, under Brazilian law.
When on 18 January 2015, Indonesia executed six people, among them a Brazilian citizen Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, 53 years old, Brazil’s president led an international outcry against the executions. Brazil recalled its ambassador in Jakarta for consultations and said the executions would affect bilateral relations. “The use of the death penalty, which the world society increasingly condemns, affects severely the relationship of our countries,” President Dilma Roussef said in a statement published by Brazil’s official news agency.
On 29 September 2017, Brazil voted in favour of the Resolution on the Death Penalty at the 36° session of the UN Council on Human Rights.
On December 17, 2018, Brazil co-sponsored and voted once again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.