How Many Countries Use Death Penalty?

How Many Countries Use Death Penalty?
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The dispute 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 2019?

Overall, there were 690 recorded death penalty executions in 20 countries in 2018, according to Amnesty International.

Out of the 195 countries, 56 countries still have a death penalty, 106 countries have abolished the death penalty by the end of 2018, 28 countries abolished a death penalty in practice, 8 countries abolished a death penalty for ordinary crimes only.

In 2019, 142 countries have completely abolished the death penalty punishment.

The list includes all categories: abolitionist for all crimes, abolitionist for ordinary crimes only, abolitionist in practice and retentionist.

Here are the 56 countries that still have a death penalty (capital punishment) in 2019:

Afghanistan, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Belize, Botswana, Chad, China, Comoros, Cuba, 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 2019 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 most executions in 2018 with an unknown number of execution 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 as of 2019: Beheading, electrocution, lethal injection, hanging, shotting and stoning.

The Death Penalty Debate

If we simply analyze the death penalty debate then it’s that 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 execute humans as a punishment for crimes comes as a counter argument.

Another side of the debate is the execution of innocent people. The Life of David Gale is a great movie that perfectly present 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 2019.

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

Here are the US states that still use a death penalty as of 2019:

North Carolina
South Carolina
South Dakota
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