Although extensive information exists about the use of the death penalty in the United States and organizations such as Amnesty International and Hands Off Cain track developments internationally, no well-organized, well-documented, and comprehensive overview of death penalty practices across the globe existed. The Advocates for Human Rights’ Death Penalty Country Information pages meets this neglected need.
The Death Penalty Country Information pages use information from media outlets, NGOs, IGOs, and other sources around the world to create an up-to-date source of information about death penalty practices in numerous countries. Each country page contains political information about the country, a list of human rights instruments applicable to the death penalty that a country has signed or ratified, a historical overview of the use of the death penalty and steps made toward abolition, a list of death penalty eligible crimes, the method(s) of execution used, statistics about the use of the death penalty, and current human rights concerns related to death penalty, executions, or the criminal justice system in a country. The information on each country page is updated as death penalty developments occur.
As of July 2007, 129 countries are abolitionist in law or practice while 68 countries retain the death penalty. Of those 129 countries, 89 are abolitionist for all crimes and 10 permit the application of the death penalty only for exceptional crimes such as under military law or under exceptional circumstances such as during times of war. In addition, 30 countries are considered abolitionist in practice because an execution has not occurred in ten years and the country has a policy of not carrying out executions. 68 countries, including the United States, retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes. All members of the European Union have abolished the death penalty and Belarus is the only country in Europe that retains the death penalty. Numerous countries in recent years have abolished or have limited the use the death penalty. For a complete list of abolitionist and retentionist countries, see the Amnesty International list.