Feb. 19


Which countries have the death penalty and how many people are executed in the world each year?----A handful of countries still carry out a vast number of killings

In the past decades many countries have abolished the death penalty - but some nations still execute people.

Human rights group Amnesty International, which has been campaigning on the issue since 1977, says 141 countries have abolished the death sentence in law or practice.

A total of 57 countries retain the death penalty in law, according to Amnesty, while executions were recorded in 23 nations in their statistics for 2016.

A variety of methods are used, including hanging, shooting, lethal injection and beheading.

Because of the ongoing conflicts, Amnesty was unable to confirm whether executions were carried out in Syria, Libya and Yemen.

The Middle East and North Africa region accounted for the vast majority of all recorded executions, thanks largely to Iran and Saudi Arabia.

How many people were executed?

Amnesty International found that at least 3,117 people were sentenced to death in 2016 across 55 countries - the highest number ever recorded in a single year.

At least 18,848 people were known to be under a sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2016.

But the actual numbers of recorded executions carried out - 1,032 - dropped by 37 % compared to 2015, when 1,634 were killed.

Nearly 90 % of these happened in just four countries: Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia - but these figures exclude China and North Korea, where numbers remain a state secret.

Amnesty names China as the world's top executioner but the true extent of the use of the death penalty there is unknown as the stats are a state secret. Campaigners protest against the death sentence

Iraq more than tripled its executions as it continued to battle ISIS, while Egypt and Bangladesh more than doubled the numbers of people they killed.

On the other hand, the number of executions carried out in the US his its lowest number for 25 years.

The country failed to make the world's top 5 executioners for the 1st time since 2006.

But this has been put down to drug shortages and legal challenges against the death penalty.

What states in America still have the death penalty? There are currently 31 states in the US that still use capital punishment, compared to 19 where it has been abolished or overturned.

Almost 3,000 inmates are currently on death row in the US, according to the latest statistics, with each spending an average of 15 years waiting to be executed.

There have been 1,467 executions in America since 1976.

Which US states DO have the death penalty?


















New Hampshire

North Carolina





South Carolina

South Dakota







When was it abolished in the UK?

The last person to be sentenced to death in the Britain were Peter Anthony Allen and Gwynne Owen Evans - real name John Robson Walby - in 1964.

They had knifed a friend to death for money. The executions taking place simultaneously at 8am on August 13.

Public anger led to the suspension of executions in 1965 and they were abolished in 1969.

Technically, the death penalty could still be imposed for offences including treason, violent piracy or certain military crimes until 1998, but no executions took place.

Ukip leader Paul Nuttall has previously said he would have a referendum on bringing back the death penalty.

(source: The Sun)


Death penalty sought for Peruvian man charged with string of 6 slayings in Saitama

Prosecutors on Monday demanded the death penalty for a 32-year-old Peruvian man accused of killing 6 people, including 2 girls, after breaking into their suburban homes north of Tokyo in 2015.

Lawyers defending Vayron Jonathan Nakada Ludena at the Saitama District Court argue he is not mentally fit to stand trial.

Nakada Ludena broke into 3 homes in Kumagaya, Saitama Prefecture, in September 2015 to steal money and valuable items and killed the occupants, according to the indictment.

The victims were Minoru Tasaki, 55, his wife, Misae, 53, Kazuyo Shiraishi, 84, and 41-year-old Miwako Kato and her 2 daughters, 10-year-old Misaki and 7-year-old Haruka.

Nakada Ludena was arrested on Oct. 8 the same year in connection with the deaths of the Tasakis, after being hospitalized following his plunge from a 2nd-floor window at Kato's home on Sept. 16. Police subsequently served him with further arrest warrants related to the other victims.

Prosecutors said his actions were "extremely cruel and merciless" and "it can be rationally surmised that he broke into the houses to steal money and goods and killed to eliminate obstacles."

"The defendant hasn't shown regret or even the least sense of propriety. This makes me furious," Kato's 45-year-old husband said at the trial.

(source: Japan Times)


Pakistan's growing obsession for public executions

Lawyers, government officials, lawmakers and parents of the victim by and large demand public execution for the convict Imran Ali in rape and murder case of 7-year-old Zainab. But isn't it enough to hand over 4 separate death sentences for conviction in kidnapping, rape, murder and terrorism charges?

From the grieving mother of Zainab to Senate, there is a rising consent to
publicly execute the convict. The national narrative in mainstream media too suggests it is the only way to stop crimes of child abuse.

Pakistan had lifted a 7-year moratorium on capital punishments after the tragic terrorist attack on a Peshawar school that claimed the lives of 132 children. Executions were resumed for all death penalty offences, not for terror convicts alone.

The call for public hangings, introduced by Gen Ziaul Haq, is primarily raised to make it serve as deterrence for future crimes. But research tells otherwise. In 2016 study titled "The Fall of Capital Punishment and the Rise of Prisons: How Punishment Severity Affects Jury Verdicts", authors Bindler and Hjalmarsson argued that there is no or only little evidence of a deterrence effect of capital punishment. David Phillips studied the deterrent effect of publicized London executions in the latter half of the 19th century to find it has no long-term impact to stop the homicides.

Christopher Kudlac noted in his book "Public executions: The death penalty and the media" that media coverage also influences the demand for executions to be made public, in view of the rising sentiments of hatred against certain cases of crime as happened in Zainab's case. In newsworthy crimes, public sentiments and attitudes change overtime, he wrote.

Despite Pakistan's law not allowing executions to be made publicly, the provincial prosecution in Punjab has suggested to the government that it is possible. The Punjab Assembly is being pressurised by several legislators to pass amendment in the law to make space for the populist demand.

Muhammad Ahmad Pansota, a legal expert, had opined that justice will not be served when the very nature of the punishment is both barbaric and ineffective. Pansota argued that victim's families will be less likely to report crimes related to child sex abuse when the perpetrators are either family members or known to the victim, which happens in a significant number of cases.

Witnessing public executions can have adverse effects on the psycho-social well-being of people, especially children. In 2013, bloggers and civil society in Iran had criticized public hangings when there were reports of children being traumatized psychologically after watching such violence. Symptoms of dissociative disorder emerged in journalists when they witnessed executions, according to American Journal of Psychiatry study.

A study published in Criminal Justice and Behavior concluded that people are likely to reverse their support for death penalty itself after watching the executions, leading to the demand for changes in death penalty policy.

Jimmy Carter writes in his book that execution desensitizes the people to violence and immorality of killing, increasing the probability that some people will be motivated to kill others.

According to Amnesty International report of 2016, public executions were only carried out in 2 countries: Iran and North Korea. It is widely believed that sex education is the only way to curb violent crimes against children. Child sexual abuse is extremely under-reported due to lack of awareness. If Pakistan is to clamp down on such crimes against children, the authorities have to spread awareness about human sexuality, reproduction and adolescence.

(source: dunyanews.tv)


Gambia announces 'moratorium' on death penalty

Gambian President Adama Barrow announced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dictator Yahya Jammeh.

Barrow, a onetime security guard in London who was elected president in December 2016, signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year.

"I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the Gambia, as a 1st step towards abolition," Barrow said in a speech marking the 53rd anniversary of independence from Britain.

Jammeh ruled Gambia, a small English-speaking country surrounded by Senegal and a narrow Atlantic coastline, with an iron fist for 22 years.

The death penalty was last used under Jammeh in 2012, when nine soldiers were executed by firing squad.

Jammeh later threatened to expand a list of capital crimes in response to what he said was a rising crime rate.

Barrow said Sunday: "We have won the war against dictatorship, which is the easy part. Maintaining the peace for our democracy to thrive will be our utmost challenge."

He added that "mistakes will be made, but we will correct them as we work towards perfecting the New Gambia."

Francophone west African nations such as Benin, the Republic of Congo and Guinea have all taken steps to end the death penalty in recent years, but English-speaking countries in the region have lagged behind.

Activists hope more states will follow Gambia's example.

(source: Daily mail)


Urgent Action


Xu Youchen is facing imminent execution after the Henan Provincial Higher People???s Court rejected his appeal and upheld his conviction and death sentence. The Supreme People's Court will review the case and if it approves the lower court???s decision he will be executed. In his appeal, Xu Youchen has testified to being tortured to "confess" to the crime.

Write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet:

* Immediately halt plans to carry out Xu Youchen's execution;

* Grant Xu Youchen a retrial in proceedings that fully comply with international standards for a fair trial and without recourse to the death penalty and ensure that Xu Youchen is not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment;

* Immediately establish a moratorium on all executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty, in line with six UN General Assembly resolution adopted since 2007, and commute all existing death sentences.

Friendly reminder: If you send an email, please create your own instead of forwarding this one!

Contact these 2 officials by 28 March, 2018:

Secretary of the Central Politics and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China

Guo Shengkun Shuji

Zhonggong Zhongyang Zhengfawei

14 Dengshikou Xijie, Dongcheng Qu

Beijing Shi 100006

People's Republic of China

Salutation: Dear Secretary

Ambassador Cui Tiankai

Embassy of the People's Republic of China

3505 International Place NW

Washington DC 20008

Phone: 1 202 495 2266 -- Fax: 1 202 495 2138

Email: chinaembpress...@mfa.gov.cn

(If you receive an error message, please try calling instead!)

Salutation: Dear Ambassador

(source: Amnesty Internatnional USA)
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