Executions Are Slightly Less Popular These Days


The world is slightly less into killing people, according to Amnesty International — or at least, less into killing people by way of official state execution. Approximately 527 people were executed last year around the world, which represents a decrease from the 714 executed the previous year. In terms of scope, however, 23 countries executed people, which is four more than the year before. China is kind of a wild card in this scenario, as they keep their executions quiet, and are believed to have killed “thousands more.”

According to Reuters,

Beijing was thought to have executed far more people than the rest of the world combined. Amnesty’s tally does not include figures for China, which describes them as state secrets, the rights group said.

The good news: In China, you can no longer be executed for smuggling historic relics or tax fraud, though the death penalty applies to 55 other offenses.

The top recorded executioners of 2010 were Iran, North Korea, and Yemen, followed by the U.S. (we killed 46 people last year). The executions were done by “beheading, electrocution, hanging, lethal injection, and shooting.”

As thorough as all of that is, Amnesty International says there is a “clear global trend” toward abolishing the death penalty. In fact, there are 139 countries you can now live in that won’t execute you, regardless of what you do. Yay! We’ll keep an eye on this trend.

Executions down in 2010, rights groups says [Reuters]