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Last Updated on 2 weeks by AllinAllSpace

The dispute about whether capital punishment is a valid way to enforce the law remains relevant these days. The abolishment of death penalty punishment in societies is relatively new, and in fact, the first countries to abolish the death penalty were Venezuela in 1854, San Marino in 1865, and Portugal in 1867. Michigan was the first government in the world to totally abolish the death penalty for ordinary crimes in 1846.

So, how many countries still use the death penalty in 2024?

As of 2024, there were 53 still have the death penalty in practice and law, although 23 of these countries have not used the death penalty for more than a decade.

In 2024, 142 countries have completely abolished the death penalty punishment. The list includes all categories: abolitionists for all crimes, abolitionists for ordinary crimes only, abolitionists in practice, and retentionists.

Here are the 53 countries that still have the death penalty (capital punishment) in 2024:

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominica, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guyana, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea), Oman, Pakistan, Palestine (State of), Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, United Arab Emirates, USA, Viet Nam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

In Europe, the only country to retain the death penalty in 2024 is Belarus.

Source: Amnesty International
Recorded Death Sentences in 2018. Source: Amnesty International

What countries have the most death penalty executions and death sentences?

China had the highest rate of executions in 2018, with an unknown number of executions and over 1000 death sentences. Following China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, Iraq, Egypt, the United States, Japan, Pakistan, Singapore, Somalia, South Sudan, Belarus, Yemen, Afghanistan, Botswana, Suda, Taiwan, Thailand, and North Korea.

The list includes recorded executions and death sentences; however, figures should be taken with a pinch of salt.

There are five methods of execution: Beheading, electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, shooting, and stoning.

The death penalty debate

If we simply analyze the death penalty debate, then it’s hard to see the pros and cons of each side. The deterrence of capital punishment and the shame that comes with the execution might reduce crime and set the order.

On the other side, the immorality of legally executed humans as a punishment for crimes comes as a counterargument.

Another side of the debate is the execution of innocent people. The Life of David Gale is a great movie that perfectly presents this dilemma.

Death penalty in the United States by state

Even though the United States retains capital punishment in the law, the death penalty is being used in only 29 states as of 2024.

Death Penalty in the US by States. Source:
Death Penalty in the US by States. Source:

Here are the US states that still use the death penalty as of 2024:

North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
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