The Hesse question

In Germany, the state of Hesse has voted to abolish the death penalty, the last German state to amend its local legal code; the national constitution abolished capital punishment in 1949. About 83% of voters favoured the abolition in a state-wide referendum.

Between 1946 and 1949 two people were sentenced to death in Hesse, but the rulings were commuted to life sentences. Capital punishment is banned in all European Union countries. The death penalty had remained on Hesse’s books partly because it wasn’t necessary to remove it, as Germany’s Basic Law overrules all the state constitutions.