Capital punishment by country

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The following is a summary of the use of capital punishment by country.

Global overview[edit]

Legend
  Retentionist countries: 58
  Abolitionist-in-practice countries (have not executed anyone during the last 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions): 28
  Abolitionist countries except for crimes committed under exceptional circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime): 7
  Abolitionist countries: 103

Historically, capital punishment has been used in almost every part of the world. Currently, the large majority of countries have either abolished or discontinued the practice. The U.S. is the most developed country to use the death penalty.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7] The use of capital punishment is usually divided into the four categories set out below. As of 11 April 2017, of the 195 independent states that are UN members or have UN observer status:[8][not in citation given]

  • 58 retain it in both law and practice.
  • 28 have abolished it de facto, namely, according to Amnesty International standards, that they have not executed anyone during the last 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions.[8]
  • 7 have abolished it, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime).
  • 103 have abolished it for all crimes, most recently: Madagascar (2015), Fiji (2015), Republic of the Congo (2015), Suriname (2015), Nauru (2016), Benin (2016), Mongolia (2017).
Execution of minors
Since 2009, Iran and Saudi Arabia have executed offenders who were under the age of 18 (or 21) at the time the crime was committed.[9][10]
Public execution
In 2013, public executions were carried out by the governments of Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia.[11]
Extrajudicial execution
In some countries the practice of extrajudicial execution outside their own formal legal frameworks occurs sporadically or systematically. Information on this is not covered in this article.

Europe and North America[edit]

Of the countries considered to be industrialized, just four countries continue to perform capital punishment: the United States, Japan, Singapore, and Taiwan. (In South Korea, there is a moratorium.)

The European Union holds a strong position against the death penalty; its abolition is a key objective for the Union's human rights policy. Abolition is also a pre-condition for entry into the Union. In Europe, only Belarus and the largely unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic continue to actively use capital punishment.[12]

Russia and former Soviet republics[edit]

Russia retains the death penalty in law, but there is a moratorium. The last execution on Russian territory was in Chechnya in 1999. Of the other former Soviet republics, only Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan have not formally abolished capital punishment, and only Belarus uses it in practice. In Kazakhstan, it may only be used in exceptional/special circumstances such as for crimes committed in wartime, and only one individual is on death row.

Asia-Pacific[edit]

Most executions worldwide take place in Asia. China is the world's most active death penalty country. North Korea's dictator, Kim Jong-un constantly uses capital punishment against his opponents. In Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, the numbers of executions are also very high. Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan belong to the few industrialized countries that have the death penalty (South Korea has a moratorium). In 2017 Mongolia repealed the death penalty, but some countries are seeing a return to the practice; in the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte wants to restore executions, and Turkish President Recep Erdogan has promised to do so after the 2017 constitutional referendum. India executes criminals only in extreme cases. Only 26 executions have taken place in India since 1991.

Africa[edit]

In Africa, there are several countries that use the death penalty. Chad abolished the death penalty in 2014, but reintroduced it for acts of terrorism in 2015. Botswana and Nigeria are examples of countries that still execute people. Most recently, Benin repealed the death penalty in 2016.

Caribbean, Central and South America[edit]

In the Caribbean countries, the death penalty exists at least de jure (except in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, which abolished it in 1966 and 1987, respectively; in 2008, St. Kitts & Nevis hanged a murderer and became the only country in the Americas other than the United States to use the death penalty in the past ten years). In Central and South America, the death penalty exists in Belize, Guatemala, and Guyana, though it has not been used for years. In Brazil, Chile, El Salvador and Peru, the death penalty is used only in exceptional/special circumstances such as for crimes committed in wartime and was abolished for other crimes.

Numbers executed in 2016[edit]

According to Amnesty International, 23 countries performed a combined total of about 1,032 executions in 2016:

  • Africa (6 countries): Botswana (1), Egypt (44+), Nigeria (3), Somalia (14 [Puntland 1, Somaliland 6, Federal Government of Somalia 7]), South Sudan (unknown number), Sudan (3)
  • Americas (1 country): USA (20)
  • Asia-Pacific (15 countries): Afghanistan (6), Bangladesh (10), China (unknown number), Indonesia (4), Iran (567+), Iraq (88+), Japan (3), Malaysia (9), North Korea (unknown number), Pakistan (87+), State of Palestine (3 [Hamas authorities, Gaza]), Saudi Arabia (154+), Singapore (4), Taiwan (1), Vietnam (unknown number)
  • Europe (1 country): Belarus (4+)

For China, North Korea, South Sudan, and Vietnam, there are no precise numbers available. Syria allegedly conducts large numbers of executions in secret, but the number is unknown.

For the first time since 2006, the USA (20 executions) was not among the biggest five executioners (In 2016: China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Pakistan–in that order.

Belarus, the only European country to maintain the death penalty in practice, resumed executions after there had been no executions there the year before. 2015 and 2009 were the only two years in recorded history when Europe was completely free of executions.

Capital punishment by continents[edit]

Africa[edit]

Of the 54 independent states in Africa that are UN members:

  • 16 (30%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
  • 1 (2%) retains it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
  • 18 (33%) permit its use for ordinary crimes, but have not used it for at least 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, or it is under a moratorium.
  • 19 (35%) have abolished it.

Many African countries have carried out no executions for over 10 years, but are not believed to have an abolitionist policy or established practice.

The information above is accurate as of 2016, when Benin abolished capital punishment. Chad abolished the death penalty in 2014, but restored it for terrorism in 2015.

  • In 2016, Egypt was Africa's leading executioner. This century the following African countries have abolished capital punishment; Ivory Coast (2000), Senegal (2004), Rwanda (2007), Burundi (2009), Togo (2009), Gabon (2010), Congo (2015), Madagascar (2015) and Benin (2016).

Executions in Africa in 2016: Egypt (44+), Botswana (1), Somalia (14), Sudan (3), South Sudan (unknown number), Nigeria (3)[13]
Note: The tables can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the Sort both.svg icon.

Key Country Year of last execution Executions 2016 Year abolished Notes
 Algeria 1993 n/a Firing Squad, shooting. Death penalty for treason; espionage; aggravated murder; castration resulting in death; arson (or destruction using explosive devices) of buildings, vehicles or harvests resulting in death; intentional destruction of military equipment resulting in death; attempts to change the regime or actions aimed at incitement; destruction of territory; sabotage to public and economic utilities; massacres and slaughters; participation in armed bands or in insurrectionary movements; counterfeiting; terrorism; acts of torture or cruelty; kidnapping; aggravated theft; some military offences; poisoning; attempting a death-eligible offense; some cases of recidivism and perjury leading to a death sentence pronounced.[14] Currently under a moratorium. On 20 December 2012, Algeria co-sponsored and voted in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.[15]
 Angola *None since independence in 1975 1992 Abolished in 1992 by Constitution
 Benin 1987 2016 On 6 July 2012, Benin acceded to the Second Additional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which makes Benin abolitionist.[16] The decision was upheld by the Constitutional Court in January 2016 although the death penalty is still present in statutes.[8]
 Botswana 2016[17] 1 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder; espionage; treason; attempt on the life of the head of state; mutiny; desertion in the face of the enemy and aggravated piracy.
 Burkina Faso 1988 n/a Firing squad, shooting. Death penalty for treason;[18] aggravated murder; castration resulting in death; torture of a kidnapped person; aggravated theft causing death or bodily harm; kidnapping a juvenile resulting in death; arson resulting in death; destruction of military vehicles, buildings or facilities resulting in death; terrorism; espionage; certain military offences (e.g. desertion, mutiny); crimes against humanity; genocide; attempting to commit a death-eligible crime; poisoning; abusing a child with the intent to cause death; assaulting an on-duty public official, judge or jury member, with the intent to cause death and the use of torture or barbaric practices in order to commit a crime.[19] In 2015, Burkina Faso was considering abolishing the death penalty.[20]
 Burundi 2000[21] 2009[22] Death penalty abolished in revised 2009 criminal code. Extrajudicial executions are still commonplace.[23] Despite having abolished the death penalty, Burundi voted against the UN Moratorium on capital punishment in 2016.
 Cameroon 1997[24] n/a Hanging, firing squad, shooting. Death penalty for secession; espionage; treason; terrorism; aggravated murder; premeditated murder; violent theft leading to death or causing grievous bodily harm; abduction of a minor resulting in the death of that minor; assault on a state employee with intent to kill; attempt of a death-eligible crime and conspiracy to commit a death-eligible crime; plundering by gangs using force during times of war and incitement to war.[25][26] In February 2014, the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, commuted all persons condemned to the death penalty to life in prison. The decree commuted their sentences to 25 years incarceration.[27] However, death sentences have continued to be handed down as of 2016.[28]
 Cape Verde *None since independence in 1975 1981 Last execution when a colony of Portugal was 1835. Abolished in 1981 by Constitution.
 Central African Republic 1981 n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for treason; espionage; charlatanism; witchcraft; assassination; murder;[29] aggravated murder; terrorism; rape; armed robbery; kidnapping; repeated assault on or negligence of a child resulting in death; castration resulting in death; making a false accusation leading to a person being sentenced to death; using torture in connection with another crime; assaulting a member of government or parliament, a judge or a police officer with the intent to kill; attempting a death-eligible crime; some cases of recidivism; genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity[30]
 Chad[31] 2015[32] n/a Firing Squad, shooting. Death penalty only for acts of terrorism.[33] Capital punishment was abolished in 2014,[34] but then reintroduced the following year.
 Comoros 1997[35] n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for aggravated murder.[36]
 Congo 1982 2015[37] Death penalty abolished November 2015 by constitution.
 Democratic Republic of the Congo 2003[38] n/a Hanging, shooting. Death penalty for murder, aggravated murder, treason, destruction of military facilities resulting in death, imposing superstitious trials by ordeal resulting in death, terrorism, armed robbery, drug trafficking, drug possession, espionage, misappropriation by a public prosecutor of seized or confiscated goods in time of war, some military offences, war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity.[39]
 Djibouti *None since independence in 1977 1995
 Egypt 2017[40] 44+ n/a Hanging or firing squad. Death penalty for rape (if the victim is also kidnapped); murder; treason; espionage; perjury causing wrongful execution[41] and organized drug trafficking.
 Equatorial Guinea 2014[42] n/a Hanging, firing squad. Death penalty for murder, treason, armed robbery, espionage, piracy, war crimes, some military offences and crimes against humanity.[43]
 Eritrea *None since independence in 1993 n/a Hanging, shooting. Last execution when part of Ethiopia was 1989. Death penalty for murder, armed robbery, espionage, treason, economic crimes, and genocide. At least one execution may have been carried out between 1999 and 2008, but this remains unconfirmed.[44]
 Ethiopia 2007[45] n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for murder, robbery resulting in death or permanent disability of the victim, armed robbery, terrorism, some economic crimes, espionage, treason, certain military offences, armed conspiracy, war crimes, genocide, attempted capital offenses, certain economic crimes in time of war and outrages against the constitution[46]
 Gabon 1981[47] 2010[48] Abolished in February 2010
 Gambia 2014[49] n/a Hanging, firing squad. Death penalty for treason, murder and terrorism.[50] Capital punishment was abolished in 1993 but was reinstated by Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council in August 1995[51] In 2017, Gambia was considering abolishing the death penalty.[52]
 Ghana 1993 n/a Firing squad, hanging. Death penalty for murder; treason; armed robbery[51] In 2014, it was agreed that a referendum would be held on several constitutional amendments including the abolition of capital punishment.[53]
 Guinea 2001[54] 2016 (Civilian) N/A (Military) Firing squad is used. Abolished 2016 for ordinary crimes, still retained "for exceptional crimes including treason; desertion in presence of the enemy; capitulation; destruction of ships/planes and revolt at times of war or state of emergency."[55]
 Guinea-Bissau 1986 1993 Abolished 1993 by Constitution.
 Ivory Coast *None since independence in 1960[51] 2000
 Kenya 1987 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for terrorism; terrorism acts; high treason; murder, armed robbery,[56] treason. On 3 August 2009, the death sentences of all 4,000 death row inmates were commuted to life imprisonment, and government studies were ordered to determine if the death penalty has any impact on crime.
 Lesotho 1995[57] n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder, treason, rape, and mutiny.[58]
 Liberia 2000[59] n/a Hanging. Death penalty for aggravated murder, armed robbery, terrorism, "mercenarism" resulting in death, hijacking, treason and espionage.[60] On 16 September 2005, Liberia acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, abolishing the death penalty, but re-introduced elements of it in July 2008.[61][62]
 Libya 2010[63] n/a Firing squad, shooting. Libya executed more people (18) in 2010, than any other African state. Current laws allow capital punishment for high treason; attempt to forcibly change the form of government; premeditated murder; aggravated murder; terrorism; drug trafficking; robbery resulting in death; espionage and military offences such as assisting the enemy or undermining the defense or the territorial integrity of the State[63][64]
 Madagascar 1958 2015 Abolished 10 December 2014[65] Earlier, on 24 September 2012, Madagascar had signed the Second Additional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.[66]
 Malawi 1992[67] n/a Hanging is used.
 Mali 1980 n/a
 Mauritania 1987 n/a Death penalty for homosexuality, sodomy,[68] apostasy[69] (no recorded executions), blasphemy,[70] adultery, murder, aggravated murder, terrorism, torture, rape, armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, arson, accomplice to a death-eligible crime, assaulting a judge or public official in the course of his duties resulting in his death, kidnapping resulting in death, abandoning a child or an incapacitated person causing his/her death, espionage, treason, perjury causing wrongful execution, some cases of repeat offences and the voluntary destruction of buildings, bridges, dams or roads causing deaths.[71]
 Mauritius 1987 1995
 Morocco 1993 n/a Death penalty for terrorism,[56] treason, espionage, corruption, perjury causing wrongful execution and aggravated murder.[72] In December 2013 a parliamentary opposition group filed a bill to abolish the death penalty in Morocco. The MP who introduced the bill said he was "optimistic" about the bill passing "in view of the current reform movement in Morocco".[73]
 Mozambique 1986 1990 Abolished November 1990 by Constitution
 Namibia *None since independence in 1990 1990 Last execution when occupied by South Africa was in 1988. Abolished March 1990 by Constitution.
 Niger 1976 n/a
 Nigeria 2016[74] 3 n/a Death penalty for murder; blasphemy; homosexuality; adultery; treason; rape; robbery; incest; assisting the suicide of a person legally unable to consent; perjury in a capital case causing wrongful execution; terrorism; terrorist acts; some military offences; sodomy;[75] kidnapping and practice of indigenous beliefs in states applying Shariah law.[76] Each of the 36 states has its own laws. In the north of the country, Sharia (Islamic law) is used. In Imo State, a bill that provided capital punishment for kidnapping was signed into law. Southern states of Nigeria have imposed a moratorium on the death penalty since 2004.[77]
 Rwanda 1998 2007[78] Since some of the perpetrators of the Rwandan genocide fled to countries that refuse to extradite suspects to countries that use capital punishment, the Rwandan parliament voted to abolish capital punishment in 2007.
 São Tomé and Príncipe *None since independence in 1975 1990 Abolished September 1990 by Constitution
 Senegal 1967 2004
 Seychelles *None since independence in 1976 1993 Abolished June 1993 by Constitution
 Sierra Leone 1998 n/a Death penalty for treason;[79] murder; aggravated robbery. Under the Special Court for Sierra Leone the death penalty is not a punishment for war crimes
 Somalia 2017[80] 14 n/a Hanging, firing squad or stoning. Somalia is the only African state that carries out public executions. The Transitional Federal Government laws allowed for execution (in the limited area of the country it used to control) for murder, terrorism, treason, espionage, some military offences, blasphemy, apostasy and adultery.
 South Africa 1989 1995 The last execution by the South African government was on 14 November 1989. An execution occurred in the internationally unrecognised "homeland" of Venda in 1991.[24] Capital punishment was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court on 6 June 1995 in the case of S v Makwanyane and Another. In 1997 the Criminal Law Amendment Act formally removed the invalidated provisions from the statute-book, and made provision for the resentencing of prisoners previously sentenced to death.[81] On 25 May 2005 the Constitutional Court ordered that all remaining death sentences in the country be set aside and the prisoners resentenced as soon as possible.[82]
 South Sudan 2016[83] unknown number n/a Death penalty for treason; insurgency, banditry, sabotage or terrorism resulting in death; perjury in a capital case leading to wrongful execution; murder; attempted murder causing injury by a person sentenced to life for a previous murder; brigandage with murder; and drug dealing under aggravated circumstances.[84]
 Sudan 2016[85] 3 n/a Death penalty for sodomy,[86] waging war against the state,[87] apostasy,[69] prostitution, homosexuality, drug trafficking, treason, perjury in a capital case causing wrongful execution, espionage, acts that may endanger the independence or unity of the state, murder, armed robbery, abetting the suicide of an individual unable to give legal consent, terrorism, rape and incest committed by a married offender.[85]
 Swaziland 1983[88] n/a Death penalty for murder;[89] treason
 Tanzania 1994 n/a Death penalty for murder; treason
 Togo 1978[90] 2009[91]
 Tunisia 1991 n/a Death penalty for murder; terrorism; terrorism acts; violence and aggression; attacks against the external security of the state. On 6 January 2014 the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) voted for maintaining capital punishment in the upcoming constitution in Tunisia. The votes were by 135 yes out of a total of 174.[92] Since 2015, it has been possible to give the death penalty for terrorism.
 Uganda 2005[93] n/a Death penalty for murder; terrorism; kidnapping; rape; robbery if the offender uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, resulting in death or causing "grevious harm" to anyone; smuggling if the offender uses or threatens to use a deadly weapon, resulting in death or causing "grevious harm" to anyone; treason and some military offences.[94][95] In 2009, the Supreme Court upheld a 2005 Constitutional Court ruling that although the death penalty was constitutional, its use as a mandatory punishment for certain crimes was not.[96]
 Zambia 1997 n/a Death penalty for murder; aggravated robbery; high treason. President Levy Mwanawasa stated in 2004 that "For as long as I remain President, I will not execute a death warrant."
 Zimbabwe 2005 n/a Death penalty for murder; high treason; terrorism; some military offences; attempted murder, incitement or conspiracy to commit murder; war crimes and genocide.[97]

Americas[edit]

Of the 35 independent states in the Americas that are UN members:

  • 14 (40%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
  • 4 (11%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
  • 1 (3%) permit its use for ordinary crimes, but have not used it for at least 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, or it is under a moratorium.
  • 16 (46%) have abolished capital punishment.

Many Caribbean countries have carried out no executions for over 10 years, but are not believed to have an abolitionist policy or established practice.

The United States was the only country in the Americas to carry out executions in 2015. The only other country in the Americas to have performed an execution since 2003 is Saint Kitts and Nevis, in 2008. The countries in the Americas that most recently abolished the death penalty are Suriname (2015), Argentina (2009), and Bolivia (2009).

Executions in the Americas in 2016: United States (20).[98]

Note: The tables can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the Sort both.svg icon.

Key Country Year of last execution Executions 2016 Year abolished Notes
 Antigua and Barbuda 1991 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder and treason.[99] Currently, no individual is under the sentence of death, as the last death sentence in the country was commuted in 2016.[100]
 Argentina 1956 1984 (civilian)
2009 (military)
Constitution of 1853 states "The penalty of death for political offences, all kinds of torture, and flogging, are forever abolished." [101] And was complety abolished by the Penal Code of 30 April 1922.[102]

Despite this it was reinstated in 6 September 1930 by martial law until 20 February 1932.[102] Was reinstated again in 9 June 1956 by martial law until 1 May 1958.[103] Was reinstated again on 2 June 1970[104] and abolished on 29 December 1972.[105] Was reinstated for the last time on 25 June 1976[104] and finally abolished on 22 August 1984.[102]

The Military Code of Justice (including the death penalty) was abolished on 6 August 2008 taking effect the following year.[106]

 Bahamas 2000 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for treason; piracy; murder. Currently no individual is under the sentence of death, as the last death sentence in the country was commuted in 2016.[100]
 Barbados 1984[24] n/a Death penalty for murder; terrorism; participating in a mutiny; treason and espionage.[107] Presently under review before the IACHR[citation needed] despite strong national support.[108][109]
 Belize 1985[24] n/a Death penalty for murder, except where extenuating circumstances can be proved,[110] aggravated murder, war crimes, crimes against humanity, genocide, some military offences and treason.[111]
 Bolivia 1974 2013 Abolished for ordinary crimes 1997. "The death penalty does not exist" (Article 15).
 Brazil 1876 1978 (Civilian) N/a (Military)

Hanging (in the past, for civil offences), firing squad (military offences). Brazil has always maintained the death penalty in wartime as part of its Military Code but, after Brazil became a Republic in 1889, capital punishment for civil offenses or for military offences committed in peacetime was abolished by the first republican Constitution, adopted in 1891. The penalty for crimes committed in peacetime was then reinstated (during authoritarian governments) and abolished again twice (1938–53 and 1969–78), but on those occasions it was restricted to acts of terrorism or subversion considered "internal warfare".[112][113][114][115] Only one civilian was sentenced to death in the republican period, in 1969, but the sentence was commuted and was not carried out. In the republican era, all military death sentences imposed for crimes committed during wartime (the Second World War was Brazil's last international military conflict) were similarly commuted and not carried out. The current Constitution of Brazil (1988) expressly forbids the use of capital punishment, except for military offences committed during a war duly declared by Congress.[116] The last person to suffer the death penalty in Brazil was executed in 1876, during the Imperial era. After 1876, Emperor Pedro II adopted in practice an abolitionist policy through his prerrogative of Mercy as Head of State, by directing that all death sentences be submitted by the Courts to the Imperial Government for examination regarding commutation (even without a request for pardon or commutation from the person condemned), and by granting commutations for all death sentences that were passed. For more information see Capital punishment in Brazil.

 Canada 1962 (military c.1945) 1998 Abolished in 1976 for ordinary crimes; abolished 1998 for military offences (last used in 1945). For more information see Capital punishment in Canada
 Chile 1985 2001 (Civilian) N/A (Military) Shooting. Death penalty for war crimes and crimes against humanity during times of war. Abolished from civil justice in 2001.
 Colombia 1909 1910 Abolished in 1910 by Constitutional reform. Prohibited by the Colombian Constitution of 1991: "The right to life is inviolable. There will be no death penalty."
 Costa Rica 1859[117] 1877 Abolished 1877 by Constitution
 Cuba 2003[118] n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for murder, attempted murder, hijacking, acts of terrorism, treason, espionage,[119] political offenses[clarification needed], child rape, molestation of a child under 12 years of age with aggravating factors, rape of an adult with aggravating factors, rape of an adult that results in death, illness or grievous bodily harm, robbery with aggravating factors, drug offenses, production of child pornography, child trafficking, child prostitution, child corruption, piracy, working as a mercenary, apartheid, genocide, pedophilia. De facto abolitionist as the last execution took place on 11 April 2003. The last death sentences were commuted in 2010.[120] See also Capital punishment in Cuba
 Dominica 1986 n/a
 Dominican Republic 1966 1966 Abolished in 1966 by Constitution.
 Ecuador 1884 1906 Abolished 1906 by Constitution. See Capital punishment in Ecuador.
 El Salvador 1973 1983 (Civilian) N/A (Military) May be imposed only in cases provided by military laws during a state of international war.[121] Abolished for other crimes 1983.
 Grenada 1978 n/a
 Guatemala 2000[122] n/a Lethal injection. Death penalty for murder, espionage, treason, drug trafficking, kidnapping, torture, and terrorism.
 Guyana 1997 n/a Death penalty for terrorist acts;[123] murder; mass murder; rape; willful murder; treason; torture. The constitution states that it must not be a mandatory punishment.
 Haiti 1972 1987 Abolished 1987 by Constitution.
 Honduras 1940 1956 Abolished 1956 by Constitution.
 Jamaica 1988[124] n/a Death penalty for murder.[125]
 Mexico 1961 – Military
1937 – Civilian
1976 Abolished for all crimes in 2005.[126] See also Capital punishment in Mexico.
 Nicaragua 1930 1979 Abolished 1979 by Constitution
 Panama *None since independence in 1903 1903 Abolished 1903 by Constitution.
 Paraguay 1928 1992 Abolished 1992 by Constitution
 Peru 1979 1979 (Civilian) N/A (Military) Firing squad. Death penalty for treason; terrorism; espionage; genocide; mutiny; desertion in times of war.[121] Abolished for other crimes 1979.
 Saint Kitts and Nevis 2008[127] n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder and treason
 Saint Lucia 1995 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder; treason
 Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 1995 n/a Death penalty for murder; treason
 Suriname 1982 2015[55] Abolished 2015.
 Trinidad and Tobago 1999 n/a Death penalty for murder; treason[128]
 United States 2017[129] 20 n/a Methods vary by state, federal, and military policy, but include lethal injection, hanging, firing squad, the electric chair, and the gas chamber. Federal law provides the death penalty for many homicide-related crimes, espionage, treason, terrorism, murder, robbery, and drug trafficking.[130][131] 31 of the 50 states currently have the death penalty. Of the non-state territories, American Samoa still has capital punishment as a local statute,[132] and the others have abolished it. The Supreme Court has severely limited the crimes that the death penalty can be a punishment for. It has also abolished the death penalty for crimes committed by a person under the age of 18. Sentences of death may be handed down by a jury or a judge (upon a bench trial or a guilty plea). See Capital punishment in the United States.
 Uruguay 1905 1907 Abolished by the "Law No. 3238" on 23 September 1907 and by the Constitution of 1918.
 Venezuela *None since independence in 1830 1863 Abolished 1863 by Constitution

Asia-Pacific[edit]

Of the 57 independent countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are UN member or observer states:

  • 25 (44%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
  • 10 (17%) permit its use for ordinary crimes, but have not used it for at least 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, or it is under a moratorium.
  • 2 (4%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
  • 20 (35%) have abolished it.

The information above is accurate as of 2016, when Nauru abolished the death penalty, and does not include Taiwan, which is not currently a UN member; Taiwan practises the death penalty by shooting, and conducted one execution in 2016. Hong Kong and Macau are also listed below but not included in the figures above as they do not have UN membership separate from China.

  • In 2014, Asia had the world's four leading practitioners of capital punishment – China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. The most recent countries to abolish capital punishment in the Asia-Pacific region are; Timor-Leste (2002), Bhutan (2004), Samoa (2004), Philippines (2006), Kyrgyzstan (2007), Uzbekistan (2008), Fiji (2015) and Nauru (2016).

Executions in 2016: China (unknown number), North Korea (unknown number), Iran (567+), Iraq (88+), Saudi Arabia (154+), Yemen (unknown number), Afghanistan (6), Vietnam (unknown number), Japan (3), Palestine (3), Malaysia (9), Singapore (4), Syria (unknown number), Bangladesh (10), Pakistan (87+), Myanmar (2).[13]

Note: The tables can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the Sort both.svg icon.

Key Country Year of last execution Executions 2016 Year abolished Notes
 Afghanistan 2016[133] 6 n/a Hanging; shooting. Current laws allow capital punishment for kidnapping, terrorism, robbery, theft, arson, blasphemy, adultery, apostasy,[134] homosexuality, treason, espionage, perjury in a capital case leading wrongful execution and murder.
 Australia 1967[135] 1985 Capital punishment was abolished in Queensland in 1922, Tasmania in 1968, The Northern Territory; Australian Capital Territory and the Commonwealth in 1973, Victoria in 1975, South Australia in 1976, Western Australia in 1984 and New South Wales in 1985. See also capital punishment in Australia.
 Bahrain 2017[136] n/a Death penalty for premeditated murder; aggravated murder; rape, sexual assault or statutory rape; kidnapping; rape of child; arson; assault; deliberately obstructing funerals or memorial services; certain crimes against property, transportation or agriculture under aggravating circumstances; terrorism; plotting to topple the regime; collaborating with a foreign hostile country; threatening the life of the Emir; defiance of military orders in time of war or martial law; perjury causing wrongful execution; treason; drug trafficking and espionage[137]
 Bangladesh 2017[138] 10 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder;[139] drug offences;[140] sodomy; kidnapping and trafficking in children for immoral or illegal purposes; human trafficking; kidnapping a person (especially children or women) to force him/her to engage in prostitution and expose him/her to sexual exploitation/slavery; terrorism; rape; armed robbery; sedition; sabotage; hijacking planes; military offences such as abetting mutiny, cowardice or desertion; attempted dowry murder; abetting or conspiring to commit capital offenses; perjury causing wrongful execution; espionage;[141] treason[142] and war crimes.
 Bhutan 1974[67] 2004
 Brunei *None since independence in 1984 n/a Hanging is used. Last execution when a protectorate of Britain was in 1957. Death penalty for murder; unlawful possession of firearms and explosives; possession of heroin or morphine of more than 15 grams, cocaine of more than 30 grams, cannabis of more than 500 grams, syabu or methamphetamine of more than 50 grams, or opium of more than 1.2 kg;[143] terrorism; abetting the suicide of a person unable to give legal consent; arson; kidnapping; abetting a successful mutiny; treason and perjury resulting in the conviction of an innocent defendant of a capital offense.[144] A new penal code was introduced in April 2014 and introduced the death penalty for male same-sex acts if one of the parties is Muslim (by stoning); rape; adultery; apostasy; sodomy; extramarital sexual relations for Muslims; insulting any verse of the Quran and Hadith; blasphemy and declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim.[143][145]
 Cambodia 1989 1989 Abolished in 1989 by Constitution.
 China 2017[146] unknown number n/a Shooting (firing squad); lethal injection. China carries out far more executions than all of the rest of the world combined, and is the only country in the world that routinely executes thousands of people every year.[147] On 25 February 2011 China's newly revised Criminal Law reduced the number of crimes punishable by death by 13, from 68 to 55.[148] Among these are embezzlement, rape (particularly of children), fraud, bombing, people trafficking, forcing a person to engage in prostitution (especially children, often after kidnapping or rape), piracy, drug trafficking, corruption, arson, aggravated assault, aircraft hijacking resulting in death, producing or selling tainted food or fake medicine resulting in death or serious medical injury, participating in an armed prison riot or jailbreak, murder, aggravated murder, burglary, kidnapping, robbery, armed robbery, espionage, treason, poaching, endangerment of national security and terrorism. Even the higher sections of Chinese society are not exempt from the death penalty, as billionaire Liu Han was executed 9 February 2015.[149][150] See also capital punishment in the People's Republic of China.

 Hong Kong and  Macau are under different jurisdiction from China and have abolished the death penalty. See corresponding entries.

 Fiji *None since independence in 1970 2015[151] Last execution when a colony of Britain was in 1964. The death penalty for crimes under the Republic of Fiji Military Forces Act was abolished in Feb 2015. Abolished for other crimes 1979.
 Hong Kong 1966 1993 It was last used in 1966 and abolished in 1993 by the then British colonial government.
 India 2015 n/a Hanging, shooting can be used in the military court-martial system. Death penalty for murder; instigating a minor's or a mentally ill's suicide; treason; terrorism; a second conviction for drug trafficking; aircraft hijacking; aggravated robbery; espionage; kidnapping; attempted murder by those sentenced to life imprisonment if the attempt results in harm to the victim; perjury causing wrongful execution;[152] aggravated rape; drug smuggling under aggravated circumstances; abetting sati, mutiny and its abetting; causing explosions which can endanger life or property and a few military offences like desertion. Military offences may be punished with a firing squad. See also capital punishment in India
 Indonesia 2016[153] 4 n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for murder; high treason; espionage; some acts of corruption which damage national economy or finances; aggravated gang-robbery; extortion with force or threat of force; terrorism; some military offences; genocide; crimes against humanity; piracy resulting in death; drug trafficking and developing, producing, obtaining, transferring or using of chemical weapons.[67][154] 8 people including overseas nationals executed on 29 April 2015[155]
 Iran 2017[156] 567+ n/a Hanging, shooting. Iran performs public executions. Iran is second only to China in the number of executions it carries out—executing hundreds every year.[157][147] Death penalty for murder; armed robbery; drug trafficking; kidnapping; rape; burglary; child molestation; pedophilia; sodomy; homosexuality; incestuous relations; fornication; prohibited sexual relations; sexual misconduct; rebellion; espionage; treason; terrorism; certain military offenses (e.g. cowardice, assisting the enemy); apostasy; adultery; blasphemy; counterfeiting; smuggling; speculating; disrupting production; recidivist theft; recidivist consumption of alcohol; producing or preparing food, drink, cosmetics or sanitary items that lead to death when consumed or used; producing and publishing pornography; using pornographic materials to solicit sex; recidivist false accusation of capital sexual offenses causing execution of an innocent person;[158] "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth." See also capital punishment in Iran.
 Iraq 2017[159] 88+ n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder; endangering national security; distributing drugs; rape; incest; apostasy; espionage; treason;[160] joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; robbery; armed robbery; theft; kidnapping; attacks on transport convoys; arson; intentionally causing a flood or attempting to cause a flood; damaging or sabotaging public structures; war crimes, crimes against humanity; genocide; financing and execution of terrorism.[161] Suspended in June 2003 after 2003 invasion; reinstated August 2004.[162][163] A total of 447 people were executed between then and the end of March 2013, with 129 in 2012 alone.[164]
 Israel 1962 1954 (civilian)
N/A (military)
Hanging; firing squad. Death penalty for crimes against humanity,[165] high treason, genocide, and crimes against the Jewish people during wartime. Only two executions since independence in 1948: accused traitor Meir Tobiansky (posthumously acquitted) and Holocaust architect Adolf Eichmann. Abolished for other crimes 1954.
 Japan 2017[166] 3 n/a Hanging. Murder; treason and crimes against the State. Judges usually impose death penalty in case of multiple homicides; death sentence for a single murder is extraordinary. Between 1946 and 2003 766 people were sentenced to death, 608 of whom were executed. For 40 months from 1989 to 1993 successive ministers of justice refused to authorise executions, which amounted to an informal moratorium. See also capital punishment in Japan.
 Jordan 2017[167] n/a Death penalty for some cases of terrorism, murder, aggravated murder, rape, aggravated robbery, drug trafficking, illegal possession and use of weapons, war crimes, espionage and treason.[168] Executions resumed in 2014 after a hiatus.[169]
 Kazakhstan 2003[170] n/a Currently capital punishment for terrorism and crimes in wartime.[171] Moratorium since 17 December 2003. Abolished on 30 July 2009 for other crimes.[172] On 28 March 2011 the Presidential Commission for Human Rights in Astana asked the government to abolish capital punishment.[173] Currently only one person, mass murderer Ruslan Kulikbayev, is on death row in Kazakhstan.[174]
 Kiribati *None since independence in 1979 1979
 Kuwait 2017[175] n/a Death penalty for apostasy; drug trafficking; rape; murder; aggravated murder; kidnapping; piracy; torture; human trafficking; terrorism; certain military offences; national security crimes;[176] espionage; treason and perjury causing execution of an innocent person[177]
 Kyrgyzstan *None since independence in 1991 2007 Kyrgyz authorities had extended a moratorium on executions each year since 1998. Abolished by constitution in 2007[178][179]
 Laos 1989 n/a Death penalty for murder; hostage-taking; kidnapping; committing acts of robbery against the State or against "collective assets"; obstructing an officer in the performance of his public duties and causing his death or causing him physically disabled; trafficking in women or children resulting in death, lifetime incapacity or infection by HIV/AIDS of the victim; terrorism; drug trafficking; disrupting industry, trade, agriculture or other economic activities with the intent of undermining the national economy; drug possession; treason and espionage[180][181]
 Lebanon 2004[182] n/a Hanging; firing squad. Death penalty for murder;[183] aggravated murder; rape; pedophilia; terrorism; gang-robbery or gang-assault; arson against certain types of structures or sabotage of communications, transportation or industrial facilities causing death; aggravated assault; gang-assault involving torture; life-eligible crimes with recidivism; importing nuclear/toxic wastes; polluting rivers or waterways with harmful substances; some military offences (e.g. desertion); espionage and treason[184]
 Macau 19th century 1976 It was last used in the 19th century and abolished in 1976 when Portugal abolished the death penalty on all its territories
 Malaysia 2017[185] 9 n/a Hanging. Death penalty mandatory for trafficking in dangerous drugs; discharging a firearm in the commission of a scheduled offense; accomplices in case of discharge of firearm; offenses against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong's person; murder; kidnapping; burglary; robbery; terrorism and treason. Discretionary for weapons trafficking; abetting mutiny; perjury causing wrongful execution;[186] consorting with a person carrying or having possession of arms or explosives; waging or attempting to wage war or abetting the waging of war against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, a Ruler or Yang di-Pertua Negeri[187]
 Maldives *None since independence in 1965 n/a Last execution when a colony of Britain was in 1952. Death penalty for murder,[188] terrorism, treason, adultery and apostasy. 60-year moratorium lifted in 2014.[189]
 Marshall Islands *None since independence in 1986 1986 Abolished in 1986 by Constitution
 F.S. Micronesia *None since independence in 1986 1986 Abolished in 1986 by Constitution
 Mongolia 2008 2017 President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj instituted a moratorium in 2010, systematically commuting all death sentences. The death penalty was formally abolished on 1 July 2017.[190]
 Myanmar 2016 (Wa state) [191] 2 n/a Death penalty for murder, terrorism, participating in a gang robbery if one of the robbers commits murder, abetting a successful mutiny, assault by a person under a life sentence which causing harm, assault with the intention to murder which causing only harm, perjury causing wrongful execution,[192] high treason[193] and drug trafficking.[194]
 Nauru *None since independence in 1968 2016 Death penalty abolished May 2016[195]
   Nepal 1979 1997 Abolished 1997 by Constitution.
 New Zealand 1957 2007 (Cook Is.)
1989 (N.Z.)
Abolished in New Zealand in 1989. In 2007 the Cook Islands became the last of New Zealand`s overseas territories to abolish capital punishment. See also capital punishment in New Zealand
 North Korea 2017[196] unknown number n/a Firing squad, hanging or decapitation. North Korea performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for drug offences; plots against national sovereignty; circulating "harmful" information; showing disrespect and disobedience to the Kim family; terrorism; espionage; treason against the Motherland or against the people; murder; watching South Korean and foreign websites, medias or movies; kidnapping; rape; assault; armed robbery; violation of Juche customs; human trafficking; illegal border crossing; committing massacres; bank robbery; grand theft; making illegal international calls without a phone card; producing and/or watching pornography; embezzlement; currency counterfeiting; black market smuggling/trafficking; damaging or deliberately destroying state property; destroying military facilities or technology; unauthorized religious activity and prostitution.[197]
 Oman 2015[198] n/a Death penalty for murder, drug trafficking, arson, piracy, terrorism, kidnapping, recividism of aggravated offenses punishable by life imprisonment, leading an armed group that engages in spreading disorder (such as by sabotage, pillage or killing), espionage, treason and perjury causing wrongful execution[199][200]
 Pakistan 2017[201] 87+ n/a Hanging. Death penalty for murder, aggravated murder, drug smuggling, terrorism, arms trafficking, armed robbery resulting in death, certain military offenses (e.g. cowardice, assisting the enemy, abetting a successful mutiny), kidnapping, rape, gang rape, perjury in a capital case leading execution of an innocent person, hijacking, sabotage of the railway system, stripping a woman’s clothes, a scheduled offence likely to create terror or disrupt sectarian harmony, acts to strike terror or create a sense of fear and insecurity resulting in death, unlawful assembly, treason, espionage, adultery, homosexuality and blasphemy.[202][203] Six-year moratorium lifted in 2014 after the Peshawar school massacre.
 Palau *None since independence in 1994 1994
 Palestine 2017[204] 3 n/a Suspected political dissidents, such as accused Israel collaborators, are frequently executed, often in the street, without trial.[205]
 Papua New Guinea *None since independence in 1975[206] n/a Last execution when under Australian administration in November 1954. Treason; piracy; attempted piracy; willful murder. Papua New Guinea voted in 2013 to introduce the death penalty for crimes such as rape, robbery and sorcery-related murder.[207] See also capital punishment in Papua New Guinea.
 Philippines 2000[208] 2006 Abolished in 1987 under the present Constitution, re-introduced in 1993, re-abolished on 24 June 2006 under Republic Act No. 9346. The House of Representatives voted to reinstate the death penalty for drug crimes in March 2017 however the law is still pending Senate & Presidential approval.[209]
 Qatar 2003[210] n/a Death penalty for espionage;[211] threat to national security;[212] apostasy (no recorded executions); homosexuality; blasphemy;[213] murder; aggravated murder; violent robbery; arson; torture; kidnapping; terrorism; rape; drug trafficking; extortion by threat of accusation of a crime of honor; perjury causing wrongful execution and treason.[214]
 Samoa *None since independence in 1962 2004[215]
 Saudi Arabia 2017[216] 154+ n/a Decapitation. Saudi Arabia performs public executions. Current Islamic laws allow the use of capital punishment for many violent and nonviolent offenses which includes robbery, treason, espionage, as well as homosexuality, adultery; murder; blasphemy; apostasy;[217] drug trafficking; rape; armed robbery;[218] some military offences; witchcraft; sexual misconduct and terrorism. Method most often used is beheading with a scimitar, although the firing squad is sometimes used. Bodies may be put on public display.
 Singapore 2017[219] 4 n/a Hanging. Death penalty for terrorism; murder; treason; perjury causing wrongful execution; kidnapping; certain firearm offenses; gang-robbery resulting in death; genocide; arms trafficking; piracy; attempted murder by a convict under a life sentence; drug trafficking in more than 15 grams of heroin or morphine, 30 grams of cocaine or 500 grams of cannabis and some military offences.[220][221] See also capital punishment in Singapore.
 Solomon Islands *None since independence in 1978 1978
 South Korea 1997[222] n/a Death penalty for murder, aggravated murder, arson resulting in death, piracy, terrorism, kidnapping, rape, rebellion, drug trafficking, conspiracy with foreign countries, counterfeiting money and bank notes, robbery-homicide, recidivist violent robbery, treason, espionage, some military offences and other crimes.[223][224] There has been an unofficial moratorium on executions since President Kim Dae-jung took office in February 1998.[225]
 Sri Lanka 1976 n/a Death penalty for murder; treason; perjury causing an innocent person to be executed; rape; armed robbery; drug trafficking; kidnapping with the use of a gun; extortion committed with the use of a gun; human trafficking offenses committed with the use of a gun; attempting murder with the use of a gun; causing harm with the use of a gun; assault on a public servant with the use of a gun and some military offences.[226] Moratorium since 1976.
 Syria 2017[227] unknown number n/a Hanging is used. Syria performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for treason; espionage; murder; arson resulting in death; attempting a death-eligible crime; recidivism for a felony punishable by forced labor for life; terrorism; theft; political acts and military offences such as bearing arms against Syria in the ranks of the enemy, insubordination, rebellion, desertion of the armed forces to the enemy and acts of incitement under martial law or in wartime; violent robbery; subjecting a person to torture or barbaric treatment during the commission of gang-robbery; rape; membership in the Muslim Brotherhood; joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant; drug trafficking and falsification of material evidence resulting in a third party being convicted for a drug offense and sentenced to death.[228] Extrajudicial killings are commonplace in Syria.[229]
 Taiwan 2016 1 n/a Shooting. Prior to the execution, the prisoner is injected with strong anaesthetic to leave them completely senseless. See also Capital punishment in Taiwan.
 Tajikistan 2004 n/a Firing squad. Death penalty for murder with aggravating circumstances; rape with aggravating circumstances; terrorism; biocide; genocide.[230] Moratorium introduced 30 April 2004 by President Emomalii Rahmon
 Thailand 2009[231] n/a Death penalty for 35 crimes including regicide; sedition or rebellion; offenses committed against the external security of Thailand; murder or attempted murder of a foreign head of state or a member of the royal family; bribery; high treason; espionage; terrorism acts; terrorism; arson; rape; murder; aggravated murder; drug trafficking; kidnapping; robbery resulting in death; certain military offences; illegal use of firearms or explosives. For a full list see here (PDF)
 Timor-Leste *None since independence in 2002 2002[232] Death penalty suspended following UN administration in 1999 when still a province of Indonesia. Abolished by constitution 2002.[232]
 Tonga 1982[24] n/a Hanging. Death penalty for treason, murder. See capital punishment in Tonga
 Turkmenistan 1997 1999 Abolished 1999 by Constitution.
 Tuvalu *None since independence in 1978 1978
 United Arab Emirates 2015[233] n/a Death penalty by firing squad for murder; aggravated murder; drug offenses;[234] successfully inciting the suicide of a person "afflicted with total lack of free will or reason"; arson resulting in death; kidnapping resulting in death; acts of indecent assault resulting in death; importing nuclear substances/wastes in the environment of the State; rape; treason; adultery; apostasy; aggravated robbery; terrorism; sodomy; homosexuality; joining the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria or Iraq; blasphemy; espionage and perjury causing wrongful execution[235]
 Uzbekistan 2005[236] 2008 President Islam Karimov signed a decree on 1 August 2005 that replaced the death penalty with life imprisonment on 1 January 2008[237]
 Vanuatu *None since independence in 1980 1980
 Vietnam 2016[238] unknown number n/a Lethal injection. Death penalty for treason; taking action to overthrow the government; espionage; rebellion; banditry; terrorism; sabotage; hijacking; destruction of national security projects; undermining peace; war crimes; crimes against humanity; manufacturing, concealing and trafficking in narcotic substances; certain military offences; manufacturing or trading fake goods such as food or medicines, causing "particularly serious" consequences; murder; rape; robbery; embezzlement; fraud and receiving bribes above a certain amount, or causing "particularly serious" consequences[239][240]
 Yemen 2017[241] unknown number n/a Shooting. Yemen performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for murder;[242] adultery;[243] homosexuality;[68][244] apostasy[69] (no recorded executions); blasphemy;[245] drug trafficking; perjury causing wrongful execution; kidnapping; rape; sexual misconduct; violent robbery; banditry; terrorism; destruction of property leading to death; prostitution; certain military offenses (e.g. cowardice, desertion); espionage and treason.[246]

Europe[edit]

Of the 49 independent states in Europe that are UN members or have UN Observer status:

  • 1 (2%), Belarus, maintains the death penalty.
  • 1 (2%), Russia, maintains the dealth penalty but it is rarely used.
  • 47 (96%) have abolished it.

Abolition of death penalty is a pre-condition for entry into the European Union, which considers capital punishment a "cruel and inhuman" practice and "not been shown in any way to act as a deterrent to crime".[247]

Since 1999, Belarus has been the only recognized country in Europe to carry out executions. 2009 and 2015 were the first two years in recorded history when Europe was completely free of executions. This century the following European countries have abolished capital punishment: Ukraine (2000), Malta (2000), Cyprus (2002), Turkey (2004), Greece (2004), Moldova (2005), Albania (2007), and Latvia (2012).

Executions in Europe in 2016: Belarus (4+)[248][249]

Note: The tables can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the Sort both.svg icon.

Key Country Year of last execution Executions 2016 Year abolished Notes
 Albania 1995[250] 2007 Ratification of Protocol No. 13 of ECHR took place on 6 February 2007, in effect by 1 June 2007.[251]
 Andorra 1943 1990 Garrote, Firing Squad abolished 1990 by Constitution
 Armenia *None since independence in 1991 1998 Abolished in 1998 by Constitution. The last execution when Armenia was a part of the USSR was on 30 August 1991.
 Austria 1950 1968 Abolished in peacetime 1950. Completely abolished in 1968 by Constitution.
 Azerbaijan 1993 1998
 Belarus 2017[252] 4+ n/a Shooting. Belarus is the only country in Europe to practice the death penalty. Laws allow capital punishment for acts of aggression; murder of a representative of a foreign state or international organization with the intention to provoke international tension or war; international terrorism; genocide; crimes against the security of humanity; murder with aggravating circumstances; terrorism; terrorist acts; treason that results in loss of life; conspiracy to seize power; sabotage; murder of a police officer; murder of a border patrol; use of weapons of mass destruction; and violations of the laws and customs of war.[253] See Capital punishment in Belarus.
 Belgium 1950 1996 Last execution for common law crimes was in 1863. Last execution for war crimes was in 1950. Abolished 1996 by Penal Code; since 2005 in Constitution.
 Bosnia and Herzegovina *None since independence in 1992 1998 Last execution when part of Yugoslavia was in 1975. Abolished 1998 by Constitution, although the death penalty is still present in statutes, specifically in Republika Srpska, Article 11, which states "Human life shall be inviolable. Death penalty may be pronounced exclusively for capital crimes."[254]
 Bulgaria 1989 1998 The last execution in Bulgaria took place on November 4, 1989, days before the downfall of Todor Zhivkov, which heralded the end of the communist regime. It was the year's 14th shooting of a convicted prisoner.
 Croatia 1987 1991 Last capital punishment was performed on January 29, 1987 by the state firing squad while Croatia was still part of SFR Yugoslavia. Last executed convict was Dušan Kosić who killed Čedomir Matijević, his wife Slavica and their two daughters, Dragana and Snježana.[255][256] Capital punishment was abolished in 1990 according to the provision of the new Croatian constitution enected for the SR Croatia. Upon declaring independence in June 1991 newly formed Republic of Croatia declared Constitution from 1990 official and left the jurisdiction of the Yugoslav Federation consequently completely abolishing capital punishment. Death penalty is prohibited by the article 21 of the Croatian Constitution.[257]
 Cyprus 1962 2002 Capital punishment for murder abolished in 1983. The unrecognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus still retains the death penalty for wartime treason.
 Czech Republic *None since independence in 1993 1990 Last execution when part of Czechoslovakia was in June 1989. Abolished after the Velvet Revolution 1990 by the amendment to Constitution of Czechoslovakia. Upon independence on 1 January 1993 the Czech Republic became a new abolitionist state. For more info see Capital punishment in the Czech Republic.
 Denmark 1950 1978 Last execution for common law crimes 1892. Last execution for war crimes 1950. Capital punishment was retroactively carried out 1945–50 for crimes related to the German occupation in World War II, repealed in 1951 and confirmed in 1993. A similar rule was active 1952–1978 in the civil penalty law for war crimes committed under extreme circumstances. See Capital punishment in Denmark.
 Estonia 1991 1998 In Estonia the last execution took place on 11 September 1991 when Rein Oruste was shot with a bullet to the back of the head for the crime of murder.
 Finland 1944 1972 Last peacetime execution 1825. Last wartime execution 1944. Capital punishment was abolished for civilian crimes in 1949 (all existing sentences commuted to life imprisonment) and for all crimes 1972. In 1984 the death penalty was explicitly outlawed in the Finnish Constitution. See Capital punishment in Finland.
 France 1977 1981 The death penalty was initially abolished by the Directory in 1795 but re-introduced by Napoleon in 1810. It was re-abolished in law in 1981 and by Constitution in 2007. See Capital punishment in France.
 Georgia 1995[250] 2006 The death penalty was abolished for most offenses in 1997, but the constitution stated that the Supreme Court had the power to impose the death penalty in exceptionally serious cases of "crimes against life". On 27 December 2006, President Mikheil Saakashvili signed into a law a new constitutional amendment totally abolishing the death penalty in all circumstances.

The self-proclaimed state of Abkhazia, which is claimed by Georgia, still retains the death penalty for wartime treason, but it has been under moratorium since 2007.

 Germany 1949 (West Germany)
1981 (East Germany)
1949 (West Germany)
1987 (East Germany)
Prohibited in West Germany by the Basic Law since 1949. US military authorities carried out an execution on West German territory in 1956. The now defunct GDR abolished the death penalty in 1987, the last execution was held in 1981.
 Greece 1972 2004[258][259] Abolished in 1994 (Law 2207/1994) except for high treason in time of war; abolished completely with the Constitutional amendment of 2001 and then with the approval by Greek Parliament of the ratification of Protocol No. 13 on the abolition of death penalty in all circumstances in November 2004.
 Hungary 1988 1990 Capital punishment was abolished in 1990 and the last execution was of Vadász Ernő on 14 July 1988 for murder.
 Iceland *None since independence in 1944[260] 1928[261] Last execution in 1830 when a colony of Denmark.[260] Abolished in 1928;[261] reintroduction made unconstitutional in 1995 by unanimous vote of Parliament.[262]
 Ireland 1954 1990 See Capital punishment in Ireland. Abolished for most murders in 1964, and for remaining offences in 1990. Last death sentences passed in 1985; all since 1954 commuted to imprisonment. 2001 constitutional referendum prohibits reintroduction, even during state of emergency.
 Italy 1947 1948 On 30 November 1786 the Grand Duchy of Tuscany (then independent, now a part of Italy) became the first state in the modern era to completely abolish the death penalty. The short lived Roman Republic of Feb–July 1849 abolished the death penalty before being overthrown by French troops. When the Kingdom of Italy was formed in 1861 all the constituent states except Tuscany allowed capital punishment until it was abolished from the penal code in 1889 – although it was maintained under military and colonial law. In 1926 Mussolini reintroduced the death penalty into Italian law. It was re-abolished from the penal code in 1944. Art. 27 of the Constitution of the Italian Republic (1948) completely abolished it for all common military and civil crimes during peacetime. The death penalty was still, formally, in force in Italy in the military penal code, only for high treachery against the Republic or only in war theatre perpetrated crimes (though no execution ever took place) until it was abolished completely from there as well, in 1994. Article 27 of Italian Constitution was changed, in 2007, to impede the reintroduction of death penalty in time of war too. See Capital punishment in Italy.
 Latvia 1996 2012 Death penalty abolished for peacetime offenses 1999. Abolished for all crimes 2012.[263]
 Liechtenstein 1785 1987
 Lithuania 1995 1998
 Luxembourg 1949 1979 Abolished by Constitution 1979
 Macedonia *None since independence in 1991 1991 Last execution when a part of Yugoslavia was in 1988.[250] Abolished by Constitution 1991.
 Malta *None since independence in 1964 2000 Last execution when a colony of Britain was in 1943. Capital punishment for murder abolished in 1971; part of the military code until 2000.
 Moldova *None since independence in 1991 2005 Last execution when a part of the USSR was in 1985.[250] On 23 September 2005 the Moldovan Constitutional Court approved constitutional amendments that abolished the death penalty.[264]

The self-proclaimed state of Transnistria, which is claimed by Moldova, still retains the death penalty but has observed a moratorium on executions since 1999.

 Monaco 1847 1962 Abolished by Constitution 1962
 Montenegro *None since independence in 2006 1995 Last execution when a part of Yugoslavia was in 1992. Capital punishment abolished by Yugoslavia Federal Republic in 1995. When Montenegro declared independence in 2006 it became an abolitionist state.
 Netherlands 1952 1982 (Neth)
2010 (Neth Antilles)
Last execution for peacetime offences 1860. Abolished for peacetime offences in 1870. Abolished in Netherlands by Constitution 1982. Last Netherlands overseas territory to abolish was Netherlands Antilles in 2010.[265]
 Norway 1948 1979 Abolished for peacetime offences in 1902, last execution for peacetime offences 1876. Last executions of wartime offenders conducted on 37 men convicted of treason or war crimes in WWII in 1945–48.
 Poland 1988 1997 A criminal law reform including reintroduction of death penalty was proposed in 2004 by Prawo i Sprawiedliwość, but lost its first reading vote in the Sejm by 198 to 194 with 14 abstentions. It is said that this was only populism, as Poland was in the European Union and so this initiative hardly had a chance.[67] See More Capital punishment in Poland
 Portugal 1846 1976 Capital Punishment was abolished for political crimes in 1852, civil crimes in 1867 and war crimes in 1911.[266] In 1916, capital punishment was reinstated only for military offenses that occurred in a war against a foreign country and in the theater of war.[267] Capital punishment was completely abolished again in 1976.[268] See Capital punishment in Portugal.
 Romania 1989 1990[269] The last people to be convicted and executed in Romania were former dictator Nicolae Ceaușescu and his wife, Elena Ceaușescu, following the Romanian Revolution of 1989. Their accusations ranged from crimes against humanity to high-treason. Abolished in 1990 and banned by Constitution in 1991.
 Russia 1996 (mainland Russia)
1999 (Chechnya)
n/a Russia retains the death penalty, but it is rarely used. There have been 4 brief periods when Russia has completely abolished the death penalty, in the 18th century Russian empress Yelizaveta Petrovna abolished it, but it was restored by the next emperor, Peter III of Russia; then, on 12 March 1917 to 12 July 1917 following the overthrow of the Tsar, 27 October 1917 to 16 June 1918 following the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks, and 1947–1950 after the end of the Second World War (Joseph Stalin abolished it in 1947, but he had restored it back in 1950, and for this short period, the strictest punishment in USSR was penal servitude in GULAG for 25 years). Currently the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation envisages the death penalty for five crimes: murder with aggravating circumstances, assassination attempt against a state or public figure, attempt on the life of a person administering justice or preliminary investigations, attempt on the life of a law-enforcement officer, and genocide.[270] On 16 April 1997 Russia signed the Sixth Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights, but has yet to ratify it. There has been a moratorium on executions since 1996; no executions in the Russian Federation since August 1996 (except one in 1999 in the Chechen Republic, a former limited recognition state). In November 2009, the Constitutional Court extended the moratorium indefinitely pending ratification of the Sixth Protocol. The death penalty is still present in statutes.[8] See Capital punishment in Russia.
 San Marino 1468 1865 Capital Punishment was abolished for civil crimes in 1848. The Death penalty was completely abolished for all crimes in 1865.
 Serbia *None since independence in 2006 1995 Last execution when a part of Yugoslavia was in 1992. Capital punishment abolished by Yugoslavia Federal Republic in 1995. When Serbia became independent in 2006 it became an abolitionist state.
 Slovakia *None since independence in 1993 1990 Last execution when a part of Czechoslovakia was in 1989. Abolished 1990 by Constitution when still a constituent part of Czechoslovakia. Upon independence on 1 January 1993 Slovakia became a new abolitionist state.
 Slovenia *None since independence in 1991 1991 Last execution when a part of Yugoslavia was in 1959. Abolished in Slovenian Yugoslav Republic 1989 by Constitution. Upon declaration of independence in 1991 Slovenia removed itself from the jurisdiction of the Federal Yugoslav capital punishment statutes effectively achieving complete abolition.
 Spain 1975 1978 (civilian)
1995 (military)
Abolished in 1978 by constitution except for military laws during wartime. Abolished from the military penal code in 1995.[271] See also capital punishment in Spain.
 Sweden 1910 1973 Peacetime offences 1921, Wartime offences 1973. Constitutionally prohibited since 1975. See also capital punishment in Sweden.
  Switzerland 1944 1992 Capital Punishment was abolished in 1874, but reinstated in 1879. It was practiced by a few cantons (nine executions up to 1940). Abolished by popular vote in 1938, except for wartime military crimes, for which it was abolished in 1992. Banned by the 1999 constitution.
 Turkey 1984 2004 Abolished in 2004 by Constitution. On October 29, 2016, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says his government would ask parliament to consider reintroducing the death penalty as a punishment for the plotters behind the July coup bid.[272]
 Ukraine 1997[273] 2000[274][275] Abolished February 2000 after the Constitutional Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in December 1999.[274][275] New criminal code passed in April 2000.[274][275][276] The unrecognized Donetsk People's Republic reintroduced the death penalty for treason in 2014.[277]
 United Kingdom 1977 (Bermuda)
1964 (UK)
1965 (murder, Great Britain; permanent 1969)
1973 (murder, Northern Ireland)
1998 (all offences)
2006 (Jersey)
Last execution in the UK was in 1964. The last execution on British Overseas Territory occurred in Bermuda in 1977. Abolished for murder in 1969 in Great Britain and 1973 in Northern Ireland. Abolished for all remaining offences (high treason, piracy with violence and offences under military jurisdiction) in UK in 1998. European Convention, Thirteenth Protocol ratified in 2003 confirming total abolition. See Capital punishment in the United Kingdom. The last British Territory or Crown Dependency to completely abolish capital punishment was Jersey on 10 December 2006 (see Capital punishment in Jersey).
  Vatican City 1870 (as Papal States)[278] 1969 Mazzatello was used. Never used within the Vatican and only carried out in the Papal States by local authorities where the sentences were handed out. The death penalty was reserved for assassins of the pope until its abolition in 1969.

Abolition chronology[edit]

The table below lists in chronological order the 102 independent states, that are either UN members or have UN observer status, that have completely abolished the death penalty. In the hundred years following the abolition of capital punishment by Venezuela in 1863 only 10 more countries followed, not counting temporary abolitions which were later reversed. From the 1960s onwards abolition became far more popular. 4 countries abolished capital punishment in the 1960s (a record up to that time for any decade), 11 in the 1970s, and a further 10 in the 1980s. After the end of the Cold War, the rate of abolition greatly increased. 35 countries abolished capital punishment in the 1990s, and a further 23 in the 2000s. Since 1985, there have been only five years when no country has abolished the death penalty: 1988, 2003, 2011, 2013 and 2014.

Note: Where a country has abolished, re-instated, and abolished again (e.g. Philippines, Switzerland, Portugal) only the later abolition date is included. Countries who have abolished and since reinstated (e.g. Liberia) are not included. Non-independent territories are considered to be under the jurisdiction of their parent country – which leads to unexpectedly late abolition dates for the UK, New Zealand and the Netherlands, where Jersey (UK), the Cook Is (NZ), and the Netherlands Antilles, were the last territories of those states to abolish capital punishment, and all were rather later than the more well known abolitions on the respective mainlands. Defunct countries such as the GDR (East Germany), which abolished capital punishment in 1987 but was dissolved in 1990, are also not included. References are in the continental tables above and not repeated here.

Year abolished Country Countries per year Running total
1863  Venezuela 1 1
1865  San Marino 1 2
1877  Costa Rica 1 3
1903  Panama 1 4
1906  Ecuador 1 5
1907  Uruguay 1 6
1910  Colombia 1 7
1928  Iceland 1 8
1948  Italy 1 9
1949  Germany 1 10
1956  Honduras 1 11
1962  Monaco 1 12
1966  Dominican Republic 1 13
1968  Austria 1 14
1969   Vatican City 1 15
1972  Finland 1 16
1973  Sweden 1 17
1976  Portugal 1 18
1978  Denmark  Solomon Islands  Tuvalu 3 21
1979  Kiribati  Luxembourg  Nicaragua  Norway 4 25
1980  Vanuatu 1 26
1981  Cape Verde  France 2 28
1982  Netherlands 1 29
1985  Australia 1 30
1986  Marshall Islands  F.S. Micronesia 2 32
1987  Haiti  Liechtenstein 2 34
1989  Cambodia 1 35
1990  Andorra  Czech Republic+ Slovakia (as Czechoslovakia)  Hungary  Ireland
 Mozambique  Namibia  Romania  São Tomé and Príncipe
9 44
1991  Croatia  Macedonia  Slovenia 3 47
1992  Angola  Paraguay   Switzerland 3 50
1993  Guinea-Bissau  Seychelles 2 52
1994  Palau 1 53
1995  Djibouti  Mauritius  South Africa  Spain  Serbia+ Montenegro (as Yugoslavia) 6 59
1996  Belgium 1 60
1997    Nepal  Poland 2 62
1998  Armenia  Azerbaijan  Bosnia and Herzegovina  Bulgaria  Canada  Estonia  Lithuania
 United Kingdom
8 70
1999  Turkmenistan 1 71
2000  Ivory Coast  Malta  Ukraine 3 74
2002  Cyprus  Timor-Leste 2 76
2004  Bhutan  Greece  Samoa  Senegal  Turkey 5 81
2005  Mexico  Moldova 2 83
2006  Georgia  Philippines 2 85
2007  Albania  Kyrgyzstan  New Zealand[279] (In Cook Islands, NZ proper in 1989)  Rwanda 4 89
2008  Uzbekistan 1 90
2009  Argentina  Bolivia  Burundi  Togo 4 94
2010  Gabon 1 95
2012  Latvia 1 96
2015  Congo  Fiji  Madagascar  Suriname 4 100
2016  Benin  Nauru 2 102
2017  Mongolia 1 103

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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