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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Executions Around the World

Amnesty International announced the annual totals for executions by country in 2007 yesterday. These figures in many instances are estimates and actual numbers are likely higher. A link to the report and specifics about the data can be found here.

The Top Five Countries are:

  • China 470+
  • Iran 317+
  • Saudi Arabia 143+
  • Pakistan 135+
  • USA 45

It should be noted that the number of U.S. executions last year had been slowed by pending court action before the U.S. Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the use specifically of a type of lethal injection used by many states. The majority opinion of the court ruled today in favor of this type of execution which will likely put many executions on a fast track in the U.S.

China will be the focus of a lot of attention with respect to crackdown on dissidents in China and Tibet. China is known for harsh sentences where protests are concerned. The upcoming Olympics has placed China under a spotlight and it appears that China is tightening the flow of news in and out of the country.

In many instances the issue with capital punishment is not limited to the moral question of state ordered executions, but in many cases it goes as well to the fairness of their system of justice since there is no means of correcting errors.

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