The controversy surrounding of the death penalty has caused a global debate among scholars, analyst, jurists and even nations. For some of the countries of the world, it is inhuman to administer the death penalty on a citizen or anybody for that matter while for others; it is the best deterrent for the commission of some heinous crimes.
In the United States of America, the death penalty is limited under the 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution, and in practice is used almost exclusively for aggravated murders committed by mentally competent adults.
It is currently a legal sentence in 32 states and in the Federal civilian and military legal systems. Since the Death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Texas has performed the most executions, and Oklahoma has had (through mid-2011) the highest per capital execution rate.
The methods of execution and the crimes subject to the penalty vary by state, and have changed over time. The most common method since 1976 has been lethal injection. In 2012, 40 inmates were executed in the U.S and 3,146 were on death roll and execution rate of less than 2%.
Over the past 20 years, the death penalty has slowly declined in popularity in the United States from an all time high in 1994 of 80% to around 63% in 2012. Since 2007, six states have abolished the death penalty.
In China it is usually administered to offenders of serious and violent crimes, such as aggravated murder. But China retains in law a number of non violent capital offences such as drug trafficking and corrupt public officials. In all, there are eligible for the death penalty. Many of these offences are non-violent and economic criminal offences. The People Republic of China executes the highest number of people annually, though other countries (such as Iran or Singapore) have higher per capital execution rates.
It was in 2011 that the National People’s Congress Standing Committee of the People’s Republic of China adopted an amendment to reduce the number of capital crimes from 68 to 55. Later the same year, the supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China ordered lower Courts to suspend death sentences for two years and to ensure that it only applies to a very small minority of criminals committing extremely serious crimes.
Capital Punishment (Death Penalty) in the United Kingdom was used from the creation of the state in 1707 until the practice was abolished in the 20m century. The last executions in the United Kingdom were by hanging and took place in 1964, prior to capital punishment being abolished for murder (in 1963 in Great Britain and in 1993 in Northern Ireland). Although not applied since, the death penalty was abolished in all circumstances in 1998 in 2004 the 13th Protocol to the European convention on Human Rights became binding on the United Kingdom, prohibiting the restoration of the death penalty for as long as the UK is a party to the convention.
Currently, more than two-thirds of the countries in the world have now abolished the death penalty in law or practice. The numbers are as follows.
Abolitionist for all Crimes,
Abolitionist for Ordinary Crimes only:
Abolitionist in Practice:
Total abolitionist in law or practice:
Following are lists of countries in the four categories: abolitionist for all crimes, abolitionist for ordinary crimes only, abolitionist in practice and retentionist. At the end is a list of countries which have abolished the death Penalty since 1976. It shows that in the past decade, an average of over three countries a year have abolished the death penalty in law or, having done so far, ordinary offences, have gone on to abolish it for all offences.
1). Abolitionist for all Crimes
Countries whose laws do not provide for the death penalty for any crime.
Albania, Andorra, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austina, Azerbayan, Belgium, Blultan, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia Canada, Cape verde, Colombia, look Islands, Costa Rica, Cote D’lvore, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Gabon, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Holy see, Honduras, Hungary, Italy, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Rwanda, San Manno, Senegal, Serbia (including Korovo), Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Solomon Islands, South African Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-leste, Togo, Turkey, Turkmenistar, Tuvalu, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela.
Abolitionist for Ordinary Crime only
Countries whose laws provide for the death penalty only for exceptional crimes such as crimes under military law or crimes committed in exceptional circumstances.
Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, FI Salvador, Fyi, Isreal, Kazakstan, Peru.
Abolitionist in Practice
Countries which retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes such as murder but can be considered abolitionist in practice in that they have not executed anyone during the past 19 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions. The list also includes countries which have made an international commitment not to use the death penalty.
Nigeria, Benin, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Congo (republic of), Eritrea, Grana, Grenada, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Madagascar Malawi, Maldives, Mate, Mauritania, Mongolia, Morocco, Myanmar, Nauru, papua New Guinea, Russian Federation, Sierra Leone, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Suaname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Tonga, Tunisia, Zambia.
The Russian Federation introduced a moratorium on executions in August 1996. Howver, execution were carried out between 1996 and 1999 in the Chechen Republic.
Countries and territories that retain the death penalty for ordinary crimes.
Ayghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh. Barbados, Belannus, Belize, Botswana, Chad, China, Connoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cuba, Dominica, Egypt. Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guateanala, Guinea, Gnyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestinian Authority, Qatar, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, United Sates of America, Jiet Nam, Temen, Zimbabwe.