Every day, people are executed by the state as punishment for a variety of crimes – sometimes for acts that should not be criminalised. In some countries it can be for who you sleep with, in others it is reserved for acts of terror and murder.
Some countries execute people who were under 18 years old when the crime was committed, others use the death penalty against people who suffer mental problems. Before people die they are often imprisoned for years on ‘death row’. Not knowing when their time is up, or whether they will see their families one last time.
The death penalty is cruel, inhuman and degrading. Amnesty opposes the death penalty at all times – regardless of who is accused, the crime, guilt or innocence or method of execution.
We have been working to end executions since 1977, when only 16 countries had abolished the death penalty in law or practice. Today, the number has risen to 140 – nearly two-thirds of countries arou