The Death Penalty: An International Perspective

Abolitionist and Retentionist Countries

Executions Around the World

International Death Penalty Database - Maintained by Northwestern Univ. Law School

Foreign Nationals on United States' Death Rows

International News and Developments - Current Year

International News and Developments - Previous Years

2013  2012  2011  2010  2009  2008  2007  2006  2005  2004  2003  2002  2001  2000  1998-1999

Additional Resources


DPIC Materials and Resources


EU Rendez-vous: The Death Penalty in the US: On the Cusp of Repeal This event was a panel discussion on the status of the death penalty in the United States. Richard C. Dieter was asked to sit in on a panel to answer the question, "What is happening to the death penalty in the U.S.?" Mr. Dieter was joined by Sarah Turberville of the Constitution Project and Diann Rust-Tierney of the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. The event took place on October 21, 2014 and was sponsored by the European Union. This event was held at the residence of the Ambassador from the Netherlands. The video of the event is available here.

 

"Fighting Crime in the U.S. and Internationally: Is the Death Penalty Necessary? A Unique Conversation Between U.S. and European Law Enforcement," A panel of law enforcement officials from the U.S. and Europe discussing the merits of the death penalty in reducing violent crime. The officers also addressed whether capital punishment actually helps to keep citizens safe, assists healing for victims, and uses crime-fighting resources efficiently. (National Press Club, Wash., D.C., Oct. 13, 2010).

"Changing Views on the Death Penalty in the United States," Paper delivered in Beijing, China, October 7, 2007, at the Conference on Alternatives to the Death Penalty in U.S.A and China by Richard C. Dieter

"The Status of the Death Penalty in the United States," by Richard C. Dieter, Prepared for the Subcommittee on Human Rights, European Parliament, January 29, 2007

"Cross-Cultural Death-Penalty Experiences," panel presentation, remarks by Richard C. Dieter, International Leadership Conference on Human Rights and the Death Penalty, Dec. 6-7, 2005, Tokyo, Japan; published at 28 Thomas M. Cooley Law Review 23 (2011).

"International Influence on the Death Penalty in the US" Foreign Service Journal, October 2003

"A Response to the Initial Report of the United States to the United Nations on the Race Convention" Richard Dieter's Ford Foundation Symposium Presentation, October 17, 2000

DPIC Report: "International Perspectives on the Death Penalty: A Costly Isolation for the US" (1999)

"The United States Death Penalty and International Law: US Compliance with the Torture and Race Conventions" Richard Dieter's Ford Foundation Symposium Presentation, November 12, 1998

     


    EXECUTIONS AROUND THE WORLD (+ after a country's number indicates number is minimal estimate)


    See also International Death Penalty Database

    At least 22 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2013. At least 778 executions were carried out in 2013. This figure does not include the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China. Beginning in 2009, Amnesty International ceased to publish minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. View the Amnesty 2013 report here.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2013
    1. China (1,000s *see above) 4. Saudi Arabia (79+)
    2. Iran (369+) 5. United States (39)
    3. Iraq (169+) 6. Somalia (34+)

    At least 21 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2012. At least 682 executions were carried out in 2012. This figure does not include the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China. Beginning in 2009, Amnesty International ceased to publish minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. View the Amnesty 2012 report here.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2012
    1. China (1,000s *see above) 4. Saudi Arabia (79+)
    2. Iran (314+) 5. United States (43)
    3. Iraq (129+) 6. Yemen (28+)

    At least 20 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2011. At least 676 executions were carried out in 2011. This figure does not include the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China. Beginning in 2009, Amnesty International ceased to publish minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. View the Amnesty 2011 report here.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2011
    1. China (1,000s *see above) 4. Iraq (68+)
    2. Iran (360+) 5. United States (43)
    3. Saudi Arabia (82+) 6. Yemen (41+)

    At least 23 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2010. At least 527 executions were carried out in 2010. This figure does not include the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China. Last year Amnesty International decided not to publish minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. View the Amnesty 2010 report here.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2010
    1. China (1,000s *see above) 4. Yemen (53+)
    2. Iran (252+) 5. United States (46)
    3. North Korea (60+) 6. Saudi Arabia (27+)

    Eighteen countries carried out executions in 2009. Amnesty International documented the executions of 714, but this total does not include figures from China where the majority of the world's executions take place. The real global total is significantly higher. The five countries with the most executions are Iran (388+), Iraq (120+), Saudi Arabia (69+), the United States (52), and China, which executed more people than the rest of the world combined, according to same report by Amnesty International.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2009
    1. China (1,000s *see above) 4. Saudi Arabia (69+)
    2. Iran (388+) 5. United States (52)
    3. Iraq (120+)

    In 2008, at least 2,390 people were executed in 25 countries around the world and 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries. Amnesty International reports that executions almost doubled in number from 1,252 in 2007. Ninety-five percent of all known executions were carried out in only six countries: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Pakistan and Iraq. 

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2008
    1. China (1,718) 4. United States (37)
    2. Iran (346) 5. Pakistan (36)
    3. Saudi Arabia (102) 6. Iraq (34)

    In 2007, a minimum of 1,252 people were executed in 24 countries and at least 3,347 people were sentenced to death in over 50 countries. Just five countries - China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the USA - carried out the overwhelming majority (88%) of known executions in the world last year. In China execution figures are a state secret meaning their total number of executions could be much higher.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2007
    1. China (470) 4. Pakistan (135)
    2. Iran (317) 5. United States (42)
    3. Saudi Arabia (143)  

    In 2006, there were 1,591 executions around the world. Amnesty International reported that executions worldwide fell by more than 25% in 2006, down from 2,148 in 2005 to 1,591. Of all known executions that took place in 2006, 91% were carried out in six countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and the United States.

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2006
    1. China (1,010) 4. Iraq (65)
    2. Iran (177) 5. Sudan (65)
    3. Pakistan (82) 6. United States (53)

    In 2005, there were at least 2,148 executions in 22 countries around the world. China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United States were responsible for 94 percent of these known executions. The following countries executed defendants in 2005 (figures are only of confirmed executions):

    Countries with the Most Confirmed Executions in 2005
    1. CHINA (1,770) 6. Yemen (24)
    2. IRAN (94) 7. Vietnam (21)
    3. SAUDI ARABIA (86) 8. Jordan (11)
    4. UNITED STATES (60) 9. Mongolia (8)
    5. Pakistan (31)  

    Source: Amnesty International