Amnesty International: Death penalty on decline, US in top 5
A new Amnesty International report finds that the use of the death penalty is declining worldwide and that in a number of countries, even when death sentences are issued, they are not carried out.
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Following China, the countries who have carried out the most executions are Iran (at least 252), North Korea (at least 60), Yemen (at least 53), the US (46), and Saudi Arabia (at least 27), reports The Independent. Meanwhile, 67 countries issued at least 2,024 death sentences in 2010Skip to next paragraph
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The report also raised concerns over countries that imposed the death penalty for drug-related charges or executed minors for various legal infractions, reports the Guardian.
In Malaysia, for example, more than half of the 114 people sentenced to death received this ruling due to drug-related charges.
A number of nations – including South Korea, India, Laos, Pakistan, Thailand, Algeria, Kuwait, Tunisia, Cameroon, and the Maldives – issue death sentences but do not conduct executions, making it a "de-facto 'death penalty state'." In South Korea it appears that government officials are “at the crossroads” in their decision whether to keep or abolish the death penalty, reports The Korea Times.
“Many lawmakers are for the abolishment of capital punishment. Three bills on the abolishment are pending, and dozens of lawmakers announced a statement for the issue last October,” said an Amnesty International Korea official in Seoul.
Although 16 states in the US have abolished the death penalty, the country has the fifth highest execution rate in the world. CNN reports that polling indicates the US position on the death penalty is unlikely to change much in the coming years, with only about 3 in 10 people opposed to executions and 64 percent of Americans supporting the death penalty in murder cases.