World Facts

Countries With Capital Punishment

A list of countries that retain the death penalty.

Almost every country in the world has had capital punishment within its laws at some point. In recent times, however, most countries have seen it fit to do away with laws that permit the taking of a life. Despite all this, there are some nations who have not abolished this law. A good example, which is also the most developed nation among the countries that still have the death penalty, is the United States. Aside from the US, there are 83 other countries around the world that still have capital punishment.

Countries with Capital Punishment

Going by the data on the table, it is clear that the practice is still very much in effect with nine countries having executions in 2018. Aside from the US, there is Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, Angola, and Afghanistan. The highest percentage of executions in 2018 is from Arab nations, followed by Africa, and lastly by the US.

On the other end, Swaziland has not had any executions since they last had one in 1983. Other nations that also had theirs around the same time are Belize in 1985, Dominica in 1986, and Kenya a year later in 1987. In that same category, there is a special category of states that have had no executions since they got independence. These four states are Eritrea, Brunei, Papua New Guinea, and the Maldives.

Going by continent, it is clearly evident that Asia has the most countries that still have capital punishment both in practice and in law. With 34 countries that have not yet officially abolished the death penalty, only Africa comes close to Asia with a total of 33 countries that have not abolished the punishment. By contrast, Oceania and Europe, with two countries each, have the least number of countries that have not done away with capital punishment.

In 2017 alone, there were a total of 23 countries that performed documented executions. Of these 23 states, Africa had three, the Americas and Europe each had one, while the highest number, 18, was from the Asia-Pacific. Unsurprisingly, the highest number came from China (Asia) with an estimated total of over 1,500 executions. In Africa, Egypt had the highest number of executions with over 35. The United States and Belarus are the only countries from the Americas and Europe respectively.

In some cases, there have been some kinds of executions that have stood out. For example, exercising capital punishment towards minors (people under the age of 18 or 21 at the time of committing a crime). The definition of a minor changes in different countries. Saudi Arabia and Iran are the only two countries that have done so since 2009. Public executions were carried out by four countries in 2013 namely North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and Iran. Extrajudicial killings have also been happening in some countries.

Abolishing Capital Punishment

Some nations have abolished, reinstated, and then abolished capital punishments again such as the Philippines. Also, most of the countries that have abolished it are members of the UN in some way. Of the 195 members, only 54 retain the punishment.

Countries With Capital Punishment

Rank´╗┐Country Year of Last Execution
1Afghanistan2018
2Algeria1993
3Angola2018
4Antigua and Barbuda1991
5Bahamas2000
6Bahrain2017
7Bangladesh2017
8Barbados1984
9Belarus2017
10Belize1985
11BruneiNone since independence
12Burkina Faso1988
13Cameroon1997
14Central African Republic1981
15Chad2015
16China2017
17Comoros1997
18Cuba2003
19Democratic Republic of the Congo2003
20Dominica1986
21Egypt2018
22Equatorial Guinea2014
23EritreaNone since independence
24Ethiopia2007
25Gambia2012
26Ghana1993
27Grenada1978
28Guyana1997
29India2015
30Indonesia2016
31Iran2018
32Iraq2017
33Jamaica1988
34Japan2017
35Kazakhstan2003
36Kenya1987
37Kuwait2017
38Laos1989
39Lebanon2004
40Lesotho1995
41Liberia2000
42Libya2010
43Malawi1992
44Malaysia2017
45MaldivesNone since independence
46Mali1980
47Mauritania1987
48Morocco1993
49Myanmar2016
50Niger1976
51Nigeria2016
52North Korea2017
53Oman2015
54Pakistan2018
55Palestine2017
56Papua New GuineaNone since independence
57Qatar2003
58Russia1999
59Saint Kitts and Nevis2008
60Saint Lucia1995
61Saint Vincent and the Grenadines1995
62Saudi Arabia2018
63Sierra Leone1998
64Somalia2017
65South Korea1997
66South Sudan2016
67Sri Lanka1976
68Sudan2018
69Swaziland1983
70Syria2018
71Taiwan2016
72Tajikistan2004
73Tanzania1994
74Thailand2009
75Tonga1982
76Trinidad and Tobago1999
77Tunisia1991
78Uganda2005
79United Arab Emirates2017
80United States2018
81Vietnam2016
82Yemen2017
83Zambia1997
84Zimbabwe2003

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