General Article The death penalty facts and figures

Topic Selected: Human Rights
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Abolitionist and non­-abolitionist countries

More than two-thirds of the world’s countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.

  • 97 countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes; 
  • Eight countries have abolished the death penalty for all crimes except extraordinary crimes such as those committed in times of war; 
  • 34 countries are de facto abolitionists: the death penalty is still provided for in legislation but no executions have been carried out for at least ten years. 

Therefore, 139 countries have abolished the death penalty de jure or de facto. However, 58 countries and territories still uphold the death penalty and use this punishment. That said, ‘only’ 23 countries carried out executions in 2010.

Progress made towards world abolition of the death penalty
Since 1990, more than 57 countries have abolished capital punishment for all crimes: in Africa (recent examples include Gabon, Togo and Burundi); the Americas (Mexico, Paraguay and Argentina...

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