The death penalty is known as the execution of a person who has committed a crime and is sentenced to death after the judgment given by a court of law. The term death penalty is also called as capital punishment, though the imposition of the penalty is not always followed by execution because there is always a possibility of reducing it to life imprisonment. The death penalty is regarded as the highest form of punishment but yet there are some “Anti-death penalty campaigners” who strongly believe that a human being, irrespective of the crime, should not be convicted with such a heinous form of punishment and such is the vision of an international NGO, Amnesty International and since past so many years they have been running campaigns as well publishing reports with regard to the executions being practised globally.
Amnesty International in its report covers the judicial use of the death penalty for the period of January to December 2018. It is also stated that Amnesty International’s figures on the use of the death penalty are minimum figures, the true figures are likely to be higher.
At least 690 executions were known to have taken place globally in 2018, a decrease of 31% compared to 2017 (at least 993), as stated in the report. This figure represents the lowest number of executions that Amnesty International has recorded in the past decade.
China remained the world’s most active death penalty county. China executes more people than the rest of the world combined per annum where the execution is carried out by lethal injection or gunshot but the true extent of the use of the death penalty in China is unknown as this data is classified as a state secret; the global figure of at least 690 excludes the thousands of executions believed to have been carried out in China, the NGO said.
Afghanistan (3), Belarus (4+), Botswana (2), China (+), Egypt (43+), Iran (253+), Iraq (52+), Japan (15), North Korea (+), Pakistan (14+), Saudi Arabia (149), Singapore (13), Somalia (13: Jubaland (10, Federal Government of Somalia (3), South Sudan (7+), Sudan (2), Taiwan (1), Thailand (1), USA (25), Vietnam (85+), Yemen
Amnesty International recorded at least 2,531 death sentences in 54 countries, a slight decrease from the total of 2,591 reported in 2017, the report on its website stated.
Afghanistan (+), Algeria (1+), Bahrain (12), Bangladesh (229+), Belarus (2+), Botswana (5), Chad (4+), China (+), Democratic Republic of the Congo (41), Egypt (717+), Gambia (1), Ghana (12), Guyana (2), India (162), Indonesia (48+), Iran (+), Iraq (271+), Japan (4), Jordan (16+), Kenya (12+), Kuwait (34),Lebanon (5+), Libya (45+), Malaysia (190), Mauritania (3), Mali (18), Morocco/Western Sahara (10), Myanmar (9+), Nigeria (46+), North Korea (+), Oman (4+), Pakistan (250+), Palestine (State of: 13, Hamas authorities, Gaza), Papua New Guinea (9), Qatar (1+), Saudi Arabia (4+), Sierra Leone (4), Singapore (17), Somalia (15+: Puntland 7, Federal Government of Somalia ( 7), Jubaland (10), South Korea (1), South Sudan (8+), Sri Lanka (17+), Sudan (8), Taiwan (3), Tanzania (4+), Thailand (33+), Tunisia (12+), Uganda (5), UAE (10+), USA (45), Vietnam (122+), Yemen (13+), Zambia (21+), Zimbabwe (5+).
Amidst all these countries who have been practising execution, there are a few in the world who chose to exempt the criminals from the death sentence and convict them with an alternative severe punishment. Amnesty International recorded commutations or pardons of death sentences in 29 countries, including India, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Benin, Botswana, China, Egypt, Guyana, Iran, Kuwait, Malawi, Malaysia, the Maldives, Morocco/Western Sahara, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, South Korea, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, the UAE, US and Zimbabwe
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has also reported that more than 160 member states of the UN with a variety of legal systems, traditions, cultures and religious backgrounds, have either abolished the death penalty or do not practice it.