Capital punishment by country
The following is a summary of the use of capital punishment by country.
- 1 Global overview
- 2 Capital punishment for non-violent offenses
- 3 Numbers executed in 2014
- 4 Capital punishment by continents
- 5 Abolition chronology
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 External links
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 use of capital punishment is usually divided into the four categories set out below. As of July 2015, of the 196 independent states that are UN members or have UN observer status:
- 102 have abolished it for all crimes;
- 7 have abolished it, but retain it for exceptional or special circumstances (such as crimes committed in wartime);
- 50 retain it, but have not used it for at least 10 years or are under a moratorium;
- 37 retain it in both law and practice.
Recent complete abolition of capital punishment
- Gabon (2010), Latvia (2012), Benin (2012), Mongolia (2012), Madagascar (2012), Chad (2014, restored for terrorism in 2015), Fiji (2015), and Suriname (2015)
- Execution of minors
- Since 2009, Iran and Saudi Arabia have executed offenders who were under the age of 18 at the time the crime was committed.
- Public execution
- In 2013, public executions were carried out by the governments of Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Somalia.
- Extrajudicial execution
- In some countries the practice of extrajudicial execution sporadically or systematically outside their own formal legal frameworks occurs. Information on this is not covered in this article.
Of the countries generally considered to be in the Western society (relatively wealthy, stable functional democracies with well-educated populations), just five countries continue to perform capital punishment: the United States, Japan, Singapore, St. Kitts & Nevis, 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 continues to execute people.
Asia and former Soviet republics
Most executions worldwide take place in Asia.
China is the world's most active executioner. North Korea often uses the death penalty.
In Islamic countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia, the numbers of executions are also very high.
India, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan belong to the few industrialized democracies that still have the death penalty (South Korea has a moratorium).
Of the former Soviet republics, only Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan have the death penalty. In Kazakhstan, it is only used in exceptional/special circumstances such as for crimes committed in wartime.
In Africa, it is chiefly Islamic countries that use the death penalty. Chad repealed the death penalty in 2014, but restored it for terrorism in 2015. Botswana and Equatorial Guinea are examples of non-Islamic countries that still execute people.
Central and South America
In Central and South America, the death penalty still exists in Belize, Guatemala, Guyana, and in the Caribbean countries (it does not exist in the Dominican Republic and in Haiti; the other Caribbean countries except St. Kitts & Nevis are currently regarded as de facto abolitionists). In Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, and Peru, it is used only in exceptional/special circumstances such as for crimes committed in wartime.
Summary of current use
Worldwide, 94 countries still have capital punishment in their lawbooks, and 37 of them currently perform executions:
- Of the 54 African countries, 36 have the death penalty, and 11 of them currently execute people (Botswana, Chad [only for terrorism], Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan).
- Of the 35 American countries, 19 have the death penalty, but only 2 of them (the United States and St. Kitts & Nevis) currently execute people, while the others are regarded as abolitionists or as de-facto abolitionists.
- Of the 57 Asian-Pacific countries, 37 currently have the death penalty, and 23 of them still execute people (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China [not in Hong Kong and Macao], India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Malaysia, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Yemen). Most executions worldwide take place in Asia.
- Of the 49 European countries, only 1 (Belarus) still has the death penalty and executes people.
Capital punishment for non-violent offenses
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Brunei, China (not in Hong Kong and Macao), Cuba, Egypt, India (option when second conviction for drug trafficking in quantities specified), Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Morocco, North Korea, Oman, Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United States (only under certain conditions), Vietnam, Yemen, Zimbabwe.
Afghanistan, Brunei, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan (for three-times offenders; punishment for the first and second times is flogging), United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.
In Iran, Mauritania, Qatar, and Yemen, there have been no recorded executions so far.
Perjury and treason
Perjury causing the execution of an innocent person: Bangladesh, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, some US States (e.g. California).
Treason: Algeria, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Cuba, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, Ghana, Guyana, Israel (high treason), Japan, Kenya, Laos, Libya, Myanmar (high treason), Nauru, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sierra Leone, Singapore, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States (Federal and in some individual States; Vermont keeps death penalty for treason, but has abolished it for murder), Vietnam, Zambia.
Algeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Iran, Peru, Qatar, United States, Vietnam.
China (not in Hong Kong and Macao), Cuba, Iran ("corruption on Earth").
China (not in Hong Kong and Macao), Vietnam.
Algeria (aggravated theft), North Korea (grand theft), Saudi Arabia (fourth conviction), Syria.
Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Yemen.
In Saudi Arabia, one can be executed for practicing sorcery/witchcraft.
In the Central African Republic, one can be executed for charlatanism and practicing sorcery/witchcraft.
Numbers executed in 2014
|(Min) Per Million
|United Arab Emirates||1||0.106|
Capital punishment by continents
Of the 54 independent states in Africa that are UN members:
- 18 have abolished it.
- 25 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.
- 11 maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
The information above is accurate as of 2015 when Uganda and Zimbabwe became de facto abolitionist for not carrying out the death penalty for over 10 years. Chad abolished the death penalty in 2014, but restored it for terrorism in 2015.
- In 2014, Sudan 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), Benin (2012) and Madagascar (2012).
Executions in Africa in 2014: Egypt (16+), Equatorial Guinea (9), Somalia (14+), Sudan (23+)
Note: The tables can be sorted alphabetically or chronologically using the icon.
|Key||Country||Year of last execution||Executions 2014||Year abolished||Notes|
|Algeria||1993||n/a||Death penalty for treason; espionage; 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. 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.|
|Angola||*None since independence in 1975||1992||Abolished in 1992 by Constitution|
|Benin||1987||2012||On 6 July 2012, Benin acceded to the Second Additional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which makes Benin abolitionist.|
|Botswana||2013||n/a||Hanging. Death penalty for murder; treason; attempt on the life of the head of state; mutiny; desertion in the face of the enemy|
|Burkina Faso||1988||n/a||Death penalty for treason. In 2015, Burkina Faso was considering abolishing the death penalty.|
|Cameroon||1997||n/a||Death penalty for secession; espionage; incitement to war. 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.|
|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||Death penalty for treason; espionage; charlatanism; witchcraft; assassination; murder|
|Chad||2015||n/a||Death penalty abolished 2014. Reintroduced for terrorism in 2015 |
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||2003||n/a|
|Ivory Coast||*None since independence in 1960||2000|
|Djibouti||*None since independence in 1977||1995|
|Egypt||2015||16+||n/a||Hanging or firing squad. Death penalty for rape (if the victim is also kidnapped); murder; treason; organized drug trafficking|
|Eritrea||*None since independence in 1993||n/a||Last execution when part of Ethiopia was 1989.|
|Ethiopia||2007||n/a||Death penalty for murder, treason, armed conspiracy, genocide, outrages against the constitution|
|Gabon||1981||2010||Abolished in February 2010|
|Gambia||2012||n/a||Death penalty for treason. Abolished 1993 but was reinstated by Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council in August 1995|
|Ghana||1993||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason; armed robbery In 2014, it was agreed that a referendum would be held on several constitutional amendments including the abolition of capital punishment.|
|Guinea-Bissau||1986||1993||Abolished 1993 by constitution.|
|Guinea||2001||n/a||Death penalty for murder|
|Kenya||1987||n/a||Death penalty for murder, armed robbery, 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.|
|Liberia||1995||n/a||Death penalty for armed robbery, terrorism, hijacking. 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.|
|Libya||2010||n/a||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|
|Madagascar||1958||2012||Abolished 10 December 2014 Earlier, on 24 September 2012, Madagascar had signed the Second Additional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.|
|Mauritania||1987||n/a||Death penalty for sodomy, apostasy (no recorded executions).|
|Morocco||1993||n/a||Death penalty for terrorism 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".|
|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.|
|Nigeria||2013||n/a||Death penalty for sodomy, kidnapping. 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.|
|Rwanda||1998||2007||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|
|Seychelles||*None since independence in 1976||1993||Abolished June 1993 by Constitution|
|Sierra Leone||1998||n/a||Death penalty for treason; murder; aggravated robbery. Under the Special Court for Sierra Leone the death penalty is not a punishment for war crimes|
|Somalia||2015||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 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. 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. 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.|
|South Sudan||2013||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.|
|Sudan||2014||23+||n/a||Death penalty for sodomy, waging war against the state, apostasy, prostitution, treason, acts that may endanger the independence or unity of the state, murder, armed robbery, weapon possession and smuggling|
|Swaziland||1983||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason|
|Tanzania||1994||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason|
|Tunisia||1991||n/a||Death penalty for murder; 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. Since 2015, it has been possible to give the death penalty for terrorism.|
|Uganda||2005||n/a||Death penalty for murder. 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.|
|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." (He died in office in 2008.)|
|Zimbabwe||2005||n/a||Current capital crimes are drug trafficking; treason; murder; mutiny.|
Of the 35 independent states in the Americas that are UN members:
- 16 (46%) have abolished capital punishment.
- 4 (11%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
- 13 (37%) 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 (6%), the United States and St. Kitts & Nevis, maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
The United States was the only country in the Americas to carry out executions in 2015. It performs the most executions of any First World country and performs the fifth most worldwide, after China, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq. (North Korea is thought to execute a large but unknown number of persons each year). The countries in the Americas that most recently abolished the death penalty are Suriname (2015), Argentina (2009) and Bolivia (2007).
Executions in the Americas in 2015: United States (28).
|Key||Country||Year of last execution||Executions 2014||Year abolished||Notes|
|Antigua and Barbuda||1991||n/a||Death penalty for murder|
|Constitution states "The penalty of death for political offences, all kinds of torture, and flogging, are forever abolished." The Military Code of Justice (including the death penalty) was abolished on 6 August 2008 taking effect the following year.|
|Bahamas||2000||n/a||Death penalty for treason; piracy; murder|
|Barbados||1984||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason. Presently under review before the IACHR despite strong national support.|
|Belize||1985||n/a||Death penalty for murder, except where extenuating circumstances can be proved|
|Bolivia||1974||2013||Abolished for ordinary crimes 1997. "The death penalty does not exist" (Article 15).|
Brazil has always maintained the death penalty as part of its military code but capital punishment for civil offenses was abolished after Brazil became a republic in 1889, then reinstated and abolished again twice (1938–53 and 1969–78). Only one person was ever sentenced to death during the Republican period, in 1969, and the execution was not carried out. The current Constitution of Brazil (1988) expressly forbids the use of capital punishment by the civil penal justice system. For more information see Capital punishment in Brazil.
|Canada||1962 (military c.1945)||1976||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||n/a||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||1877||Abolished 1877 by Constitution|
|Cuba||2003||n/a||Firing squad. Death penalty for murder, attempted murder, hijacking, acts of terrorism, treason, 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. De facto abolitionist as the last execution took place on 11 April 2003. The last death sentences were commuted in 2010. See also Capital punishment in Cuba|
|Dominican Republic||1966||1966||Abolished in 1966 by Constitution.|
|Ecuador||1884||1906||Abolished 1906 by Constitution. See Capital punishment in Ecuador.|
|El Salvador||1973||n/a||May be imposed only in cases provided by military laws during a state of international war. Abolished for other crimes 1983.|
|Haiti||1972||1987||Abolished 1987 by Constitution.|
|Guyana||1997||n/a||Death penalty for terrorist acts; murder; mass murder; rape; willful murder; treason; torture. The constitution states that it must not be a mandatory punishment.|
|Honduras||1940||1956||Abolished 1956 by Constitution.|
|Jamaica||1988||n/a||Death penalty for murder|
|Mexico||1961 – Military
1937 – Civilian
|1976||Abolished for all crimes in 2005. 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||n/a||Death penalty for treason; terrorism; espionage; genocide; mutiny; desertion in times of war. Abolished for other crimes 1979.|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||2008||n/a||Death penalty for murder|
|Saint Lucia||1995||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||1995||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason|
|Suriname||1982||2015||In March 2015, the National Assembly approved legislation formally abolishing the death penalty in Suriname. But the legislators raised the highest prison term limits from 30 to 50 years in what is seen as a compromise to amending the Criminal code. See Capital punishment in Suriname|
|Trinidad and Tobago||1999||n/a||Death penalty for murder; treason|
|United States||2016||35||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, and drug trafficking. 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, and the others have abolished it. The Supreme Court has severely limited the crimes that the death penalty can be a punishment for, the only two being murder and treason. 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 1907 by Constitution|
|Venezuela||*None since independence in 1830||1863||Abolished 1863 by Constitution|
Of the 57 independent countries in the Asia-Pacific region that are UN member or observer states:
- 20 (35%) have abolished it.
- 2 (4%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
- 12 (21%) 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.
- 23 (40%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
The information above is accurate as of 2015[update], when Fiji abolished the death penalty.
- In 2014, Asia had the worlds four leading practitioners of capital punishment – China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. China continues to execute more people than the rest of the world put together. 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), Mongolia (2012), and Fiji (2015).
Executions in 2014: China (1000+), North Korea (+), Iran (743+), Iraq (61+), Saudi Arabia (90+), Yemen (23+), Jordan (11), Afghanistan (6), Vietnam (3+), Japan (3), Palestine (26+), Malaysia (2+), Singapore (2), UAE (1).
|Key||Country||Year of last execution||Executions 2014||Year abolished||Notes|
|Afghanistan||2015||6||n/a||Hanging; shooting. Current laws allow capital punishment for apostasy, homosexuality, and murder.|
|Australia||1967||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||2010||n/a||Death penalty for premeditated murder; 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|
|Bangladesh||2015||n/a||Hanging. Death penalty for murder; drug offences; sodomy, trafficking in children for immoral or illegal purposes; trafficking in women for purposes of prostitution, terrorism, rape, armed robbery, perjury causing wrongful execution, treason and war crimes.|
|Brunei||*None since independence in 1984||n/a||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 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; sodomy; extramarital sexual relations for Muslims; insulting any verse of the Quran and Hadith; blasphemy; declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim; and murder.|
|Cambodia||1989||1989||Abolished in 1989 by Constitution.|
|China||2015||1000+||n/a||Shooting; 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. On 25 February 2011 China's newly revised Criminal Law reduced the number of crimes punishable by death by 13, from 68 to 55. Among these are embezzlement, rape (particularly of children), fraud, bombing, people trafficking, piracy, corruption, arson, murder, poaching, endangerment of national security and terrorism. Even the higher sections of Chinese society are not exempt from the death penalty, as a billionaire was recently[when?] put to death. See also capital punishment in the People's Republic of China.|
|Fiji||*None since independence in 1970||2015||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.|
Main article: Capital punishment in Hong KongIt was last used in 1966 and abolished in 1993 by the then British colonial government.
Main article: Capital punishment in IndiaDeath penalty for murder; instigating a minor's or an idiot's suicide; treason; acts of terrorism; a second conviction for drug trafficking, aircraft hijacking, aggravated robbery, treason, aggravated rape and 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||2015||n/a||Firing squad. Death penalty for murder; drug trafficking; terrorism. 8 people including overseas nationals executed on 29 April 2015|
|Iran||2015||743+||n/a||Firing squad; hanging. Iran is second only to China in the number of executions it carries out—executing hundreds every year. Death penalty for murder; armed robbery; drug trafficking; kidnapping; rape; child molestation; homosexuality; espionage; terrorism; apostasy, "enmity against God" and "corruption on earth." See also capital punishment in Iran.|
|Iraq||2015||61+||n/a||Hanging. Death penalty for murder; endangering national security; distributing drugs; rape; attacks on transport convoys; financing and execution of terrorism. Suspended in June 2003 after 2003 invasion; reinstated August 2004. A total of 447 people were executed between then and the end of March 2013, with 129 in 2012 alone.|
|Israel||1962||n/a||Hanging; firing squad. Death penalty for crimes against humanity, 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||2015||3||n/a||Hanging. Treason; robbery; terrorism; murder. Prosecutors push for the death penalty only in the case of multiple murders, or single murder with aggravating circumstances. Judges usually impose death penalty in case of multiple homicides. 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||2015||11||n/a||Death penalty for murder|
|Kazakhstan||2003||n/a||Currently capital punishment for terrorism and crimes in wartime. Moratorium since 17 December 2003. Abolished on 30 July 2009 for other crimes. On 28 March 2011 the Presidential Commission for Human Rights in Astana asked the government to abolish capital punishment.|
|North Korea||2015||+||n/a||Firing squad, Hanging or Decapitation. North Korea performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for prostitution; "drug transactions"; plots against national sovereignty; terrorism; treason against the Motherland by citizens; treason against the people; murder, Attempted murder, Arson, Kidnapping, rape, insubordination, burglary, illegal entry, assault, hostile acts, smuggling drugs, inappropriate words, armed robbery, grand theft, making illegal international calls without a phone card, illegal pornography, showing disrespectful to Kim Il-Sung, Kim Jong-il, Kim Jong-Un or even Kim Family, unauthorized religious activity, produce anti propaganda, joining Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or Al-Qaeda in Syria or Iraq.|
|South Korea||1997||n/a||Death penalty for murder, rebellion, conspiracy with foreign countries, robbery-homicide and other crimes. There has been an unofficial moratorium on executions since President Kim Dae-jung took office in February 1998.|
|Kiribati||*None since independence in 1979||1979|
|Kuwait||2013||n/a||Death penalty for drug trafficking; rape; murder; national security crimes|
|Kyrgyzstan||*None since independence in 1991||2007||Kyrgyz authorities had extended a moratorium on executions each year since 1998. Abolished by constitution in 2007|
|Laos||1989||n/a||Death penalty for murder, terrorism, treason|
|Lebanon||2004||n/a||Hanging; firing squad. Death penalty for murder|
Main article: Capital punishment in MacauIt was last used in the 19th century and abolished in 1976 when Portugal abolished the death penalty on all its territories
|Malaysia||2014||2+||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. Discretionary for kidnapping; 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|
|Maldives||*None since independence in 1965||n/a||Last execution when a colony of Britain was in 1952. Death penalty for murder|
|Marshall Islands||*None since independence in 1986||1986||Abolished in 1986 by Constitution|
|Mongolia||2008||2012||After two years under an official moratorium, the State Great Khural had in 2012 formally acceded to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights making Mongolia abolitionist. See: capital punishment in Mongolia|
|F.S. Micronesia||*None since independence in 1986||1986||Abolished in 1986 by Constitution|
|Myanmar||1993||n/a||Death penalty for murder, terrorism, high treason|
|Nauru||*None since independence in 1968||n/a||Death penalty for treason; piracy; murder|
|Nepal||1979||1997||Abolished 1997 by Constitution.|
|New Zealand||1957||2007 (Cook Is.)
|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|
|Oman||2007||n/a||Death penalty for murder; drug trafficking|
Main article: Capital punishment in PakistanHanging. Death penalty for murder, drug smuggling, terrorism, rape, unlawful assembly and blasphemy.
|Palau||*None since independence in 1994||1994|
|Palestine||2014||26+||n/a||Suspected political dissidents, such as accused Israel collaborators, are frequently executed, often in the street, without trial.|
|Papua New Guinea||*None since independence in 1975||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. See also capital punishment in Papua New Guinea.|
|Philippines||1999||2006||Abolished in 1987 under the present constitution, re-introduced in 1993, re-abolished on 24 June 2006 under Republic Act No. 9346.|
|Qatar||2003||n/a||Death penalty for espionage; threat to national security; apostasy(no recorded executions)|
|Samoa||*None since independence in 1962||2004|
|Saudi Arabia||2016||100||n/a||Decapitation. Saudi Arabia performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for many violent and nonviolent offenses, including homosexuality, pedophilia, atheism; adultery, murder; apostasy; drug trafficking; rape and armed robbery; drug offenses; witchcraft; sexual misconduct. Method most often used is beheading by a sword. Bodies may be put on public display.|
|Singapore||2015||2||n/a||Hanging. Death penalty for murder; kidnapping; treason; certain firearm offenses; trafficking in more than 15 grams of heroin or morphine, 30 grams of cocaine or 500 grams of cannabis See also capital punishment in Singapore|
|Solomon Islands||*None since independence in 1978||1978|
|Sri Lanka||1976||n/a||Death penalty for murder; perjury causing an innocent person to be executed; rape; drug trafficking. Moratorium since 1976.|
|Syria||2013||n/a||Hanging, by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant like Firing Squad or Decapitation. Syria performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for treason; murder; theft; political acts such as bearing arms against Syria in the ranks of the enemy, desertion of the armed forces to the enemy and acts of incitement under martial law or in wartime; violent robbery; rape; membership in the Muslim Brotherhood; drug trafficking|
|Taiwan||2015||6||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||Death penalty for murder with aggravating circumstances; rape with aggravating circumstances; terrorism; biocide; genocide. Moratorium introduced 30 April 2004 by President Emomalii Rahmon|
|Thailand||2009||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; bribery; arson; rape; murder; kidnapping; robbery resulting in death. For a full list see here (PDF)|
|Timor-Leste||*None since independence in 2002||2002||Death penalty suspended following UN administration in 1999 when still a province of Indonesia. Abolished by constitution 2002.|
|Tonga||1982||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||1||n/a||Death penalty by firing squad for murder; drug offenses; rape; treason; apostasy; aggravated robbery; terrorism; homosexuality|
|Uzbekistan||2005||2008||President Islam Karimov signed a decree on 1 August 2005 that replaced the death penalty with life imprisonment on 1 January 2008|
|Vanuatu||*None since independence in 1980||1980|
|Vietnam||2014||3+||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; murder; rape; robbery; embezzlement; fraud|
|Yemen||2014||23+||n/a||Shooting. Yemen performs public executions. Current laws allow the death penalty for murder; adultery; homosexuality; apostasy (no recorded executions)|
Of the 49 independent states in Europe that are UN members or have UN Observer status:
- 48 (98%) have abolished it (the most recent in 2012 when Latvia abolished capital punishment in all circumstances).
- 1 (2%), Belarus maintains the death penalty in both law and practice.
Since 1997 to 2015, Belarus has been the only country in Europe to still 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), Moldova (2005), Georgia (2006), Albania (2007), Russia (2009), and Latvia (2012).
|Key||Country||Year of last execution||Executions 2014||Year abolished||Notes|
|Albania||1995||2007||Ratification of Protocol No. 13 of ECHR took place on 6 February 2007, in effect by 1 June 2007.|
|Andorra||1943||1990||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.|
|Belarus||2014||3+||n/a||Belarus is the last 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; use of weapons of mass destruction; and violations of the laws and customs of war. 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|
|Cyprus||1962||2002||Capital punishment for murder abolished in 1983.|
|Croatia||*None since independence in 1991||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. 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.|
|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||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|
|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||2001||Abolished in 1994 (Law 2207/1994) except for high treason in time of war; abolished completely with the Constitutional amendment of 2001|
|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||1928||Last execution in 1830 when a colony of Denmark. Abolished in 1928; reintroduction made unconstitutional in 1995 by unanimous vote of Parliament.|
|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.|
|Luxembourg||1949||1979||Abolished by Constitution 1979|
|Macedonia||*None since independence in 1991||1991||Last execution when a part of Yugoslavia was in 1988. 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. On 23 September 2005 the Moldovan Constitutional Court approved constitutional amendments that abolished the death penalty.|
|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||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.|
|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.|
|Portugal||1846||1867||Capital Punishment was abolished for political crimes in 1852, civil crimes in 1867 and war crimes in 1911. 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. Capital punishment was completely abolished again in 1976. See Capital punishment in Portugal.|
|Romania||1989||1990||The last people to be convicted and executed in Romania were the 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||1999 (Chechnya)||Russia retains the death penalty, but the regulations of the Council of Europe prohibit it from carrying out any executions. 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. 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. This has effectively severed death penalty provisions in the Criminal Code. 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||1995||Abolished in 1978 by constitution except for military laws during wartime. Abolished from the military penal code in 1995.|
|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|
|Ukraine||1997||2000||Abolished February 2000 after the Constitutional Court ruled the death penalty unconstitutional in December 1999. New criminal code passed in April 2000.|
|United Kingdom||1977 (Bermuda)
|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)||1969||Never used within the Vatican and only carried out in the Papal States by local authorities where the sentences were handed out.|
The table below lists in chronological order the 103 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 were able to maintain abolition – although more tried but failed to prevent re-instatement after an initial abolition. From the 1960s there has been a growing momentum towards abolition worldwide. In the 1960s 4 countries abolished (a record up to that time for any decade), in the 1970s a limited momentum was achieved when 10 countries abolished, the 1980s saw a further 9 countries abolish, but it was the fall of Communism in 1989 which turned the trickle into a torrent – no fewer than 34 countries abolished in the 1990s, the individual years 1990 and 1998 are especially notable because 8 and 7 countries respectively abolished in those single years. This momentum is continuing as a further 26 countries abolished in the first decade of this century. Since 1985, there have been only four years when no country has abolished the death penalty: 1988, 2003, 2011 and 2013.
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.
- Capital punishment for drug trafficking
- List of most recent executions by jurisdiction
- American Convention on Human Rights
- European Convention on Human Rights
- Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
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Síðan liðu 40 ár þar til síðasta aftakan fór fram, en það var 12. janúar 1830 þegar Agnes Magnúsdóttir og Friðrik Sigurðsson voru tekin af lífi í Vatnsdalshólum í Húnavatnssýslu fyrir morðið á Natani Ketilssyni.
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Árið 1928 var til meðferðar á Alþingi frumvarp til breytinga á almennum hegningarlögum. Þingmaður Dalamanna, Sigurður Eggerz, setti þá fram tillögu um afnám líflátsrefsinga. Var hún samþykkt án teljandi umræðna og var dauðarefsing þar með afnumin á Íslandi.
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