Newspaper article International New York Times

More Nations Drop Death Penalty, but Cases Surge

Newspaper article International New York Times

More Nations Drop Death Penalty, but Cases Surge

Article excerpt

Among the countries at the top of the list for executions are the regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, plus China and the United States.

The death penalty is steadily receding worldwide. But in a small handful of countries, the numbers of people sentenced to death have surged recently, and in a few instances, countries that had stopped sentencing people to death have resumed the practice, in particular in what they call cases of treason and terrorism.

Among the countries at the top of the list for executions are the regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran, plus China and the United States. They are among 28 countries that have retained capital punishment as law and have used it in the last 10 years, according to the United Nations.

Still, this is a minority. All told, 105 countries have abolished the death penalty, with Suriname and Mongolia among the latest to end it altogether. Sixty other countries still retain the death penalty but have not used it in 10 years, putting them in the category of what the world body considers to be "de facto abolitionists."

But even as the number of countries to use capital punishment has declined, there has been a steady rise in the number of convicts facing the death sentence. Amnesty International's latest report found that in 2014, at least 2,466 people had been sentenced to death, a 28 percent increase since 2013.

Some countries have returned to using capital punishment after suspending the practice for many years. Jordan and Pakistan were among those that executed several of their citizens in 2014, in terrorist cases. Egypt sentenced several hundred of its citizens to death, many of them political dissidents affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.