The Death Penalty

Human Rights

Death Penalty World Wide

The United States is 5th in the world for executions yearly.

Ranking above us:

1. China

2. Iran

3. Iraq

4. Saudi Arabia

5. United States

6. Yemen

7. Sudan

Methods of execution vary between regions based on culture and available technology, and they usually include standard tactics, such as hanging, beheading, firing squad, and lethal injection.

The Chinese government is notorious for keeping statistics about their criminal executions secret, and in past years, Amnesty International was forced to rank China based on the minimum number of executions that researchers could confirm. Since that number was always drastically lower than the assumed reality, researchers now use reliable media sources and human rights groups—rather than official government sources—to estimate the number of executions in China.

While the global trend for the death penalty is actually declining around the world, Japan—and other notable countries such as India and Pakistan—resumed executing criminals after a long stint of being execution-free. At least seven death row inmates were killed in Japan last year, ending a 20-month period without executions.

In the broad scope of things, only a fraction of the world's total countries (the total being 195 by National Geographic's count) actually used execution as a means of punishment last year. That number is down from 28 countries just a decade earlier, suggesting a downward trend in the global practice.

The few countries that do still practice execution are situated in "regional pockets" around the world, Evans noted. Just four countries in the Middle East, for example, are responsible for all the executions in the region. And in the U.S., death penalty laws differ by state, with hotbeds of execution in the U.S. South, Ohio, and Arizona.

In December 2012, 111 countries—or more than half the world's countries—voted in favor of a United Nations resolution that would declare a global moratorium on executions.

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Why the Death Penalty Should Be Outlawed

While the death penalty is morally wrong that shouldn't and isn't the only reason why it should be out lawed in the United States and around the world. The 8th amendment states that the federal government is prohibited from imposing cruel and unusual punishments, including torture.

Innocent People Killed by the Death Penalty

Total Number of Executions in the United States Since 1976 . . . 1376 Deaths