Puerto Rico Psychiatric Society

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Puerto Rico Psychiatric Society
A Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association
POB 33113, San Juan, Puerto Rico 00933
e mail: [email protected]
Website: http://nesile.tripod.com/prps/prpshome.html
1The
death penalty in Puerto Rico
Position Statement of the Puerto Rico Psychiatric Society
The Puerto Rico Chapter of the American Psychiatric Association is against the death penalty in
Puerto Rico because
It deprives the person of his right to life
It deprives the person the right to dignity
It deprives the person of the possibility to rehabilitation
It deprives society of the possibility of amending an erroneous guilty verdict
It is psychologically similar to a premeditated assassination
It adds psychopathology and suffering to the aggressor’s family
It adds psychopathology and suffering to the victim’s family
It is not self defense of society but premeditated vengeance
It leads to a prolonged sadistic legal process
Is is anti cultural in Puerto Rico
A 1969 resolution of the Board of Trustees of the APA called for the abolition of the death
penalty and declared that the best available scientific and expert opinion holds it to be
anachronistic, brutalizing, ineffective and contrary to progress in penology and forensic
psychiatry'.
Before his retirement in 1994 Judge Harry A Blakcmun spoke in favor of the abolition of the
death penalty in the United States. He said that in practice it is capricious, unjust and filled with
errors of fact, legal and moral errors.
Many years ago Professor Louis Jolvon West, MD of the University of California, said that
capital punishment is out of fashion, is immoral, cruel, brutalizing, unjust, ineffective, and
dangerous and that it obstructs justice.
Observations by psychiatrists demonstrate that the death penalty generates illness on
account of prisoner torture, perverts the identity of physician that is converted to torturers. It also
promotes more assassinations than those that it prevents.
Nestor J Galarza, MD President Jorge Gonzalez, MD Vice president
Carlos Caban, MD Presidente Elect
Brenda Matos,
MD Secretary Vilma McCarthy, MD TreasurerLuis E Canepa, MD Rep to APA AssemblyVictor Sierra, MD Deputy Rep to
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APA Assembly Officers and Consultants: Ingrid Alicea, MD, Diana Diaz, MD, Rafael Garcia Barcenas, MD, Kenneth Geil, MD, Arlene
Rivera Mas, MD, Rafael Garcia Barcenas, MD, Ernesto Frontera, MD
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