Capital punishment has been almost completely banned in Europe. Only two European nations, Russia and Belarus, still allow death sentences to be handed out. But even Russia, in spite of its dark history of Stalinist purges and Soviet gulags, has effectively outlawed the death penalty. Russia introduced a moratorium on executions in August 1996, and except for some executions between 1996 and 1999 in the Chechen Republic, the moratorium has held.
At present, Belarus remains the only European nation to assign and carry out death sentences, having done so twice in 2011. Latvia is the most recent European country to ban the death penalty, having done so earlier this year.