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April 15, 2008

Tracking executions worldwide

This new AP article reports on the latest execution data from Amnesty International.  Here are the details:

China reduced the number of executions it carried out last year but still executed more people than any other country in the world, Amnesty International said Tuesday in its annual report on the death penalty worldwide.

Iran remains the country with the second-highest number of executions, with 377 killings that included a man stoned for adultery, the human rights group said.  The number of American executions fell to its lowest level in about 15 years, putting it fifth in the world with 42, Amnesty officials said.

Amnesty analysts said that early in 2007 China reformed the way capital cases are handled, leading to a substantial reduction in executions. They said at least 470 people were put to death, from 1010 in 2006. But they cautioned that the actual number is undoubtedly higher, and warned that any drop may be temporary....  Amnesty reported that three countries -- Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia -- put people under the age of 18 to death, the youngest a 13-year-old executed in Iran in April.

April 15, 2008 at 12:39 AM | Permalink


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Tracked on Apr 16, 2008 4:44:09 PM


Long live the death penalty.....we don't do it as a deterrent we do it to get rid of you off the face of the earth. forgiveness is between you and god.....and we will never stop executing people so matter what. once a scumbag always a scumbag

Posted by: anderw | Apr 15, 2008 5:09:39 AM

Readers should note that Amnesty International hasn't always produced reliable and valid information in the past.

Posted by: | Apr 15, 2008 8:19:20 AM

Andrew, Your very interesting comment raises a few questions in your endorsement of Chinese Communist ideology.

“Long live the death penalty....”

This is an interesting statement. While you do not explain why, I am unsure if people really agree with you. However, I am curious to know why you think that you can convince people of the merits of such killings by saying “long live.”

“we don't do it as a deterrent we do it to get rid of you off the face of the earth. F”

However, people seem to disagree with you about this. In fact, I do not see too many people advocating simple societal isolation as a reason for the death penalty.

“forgiveness is between you and god....”

Although there is no proof that god exists, I cannot see any serious death penalty opponents arguing that “forgiveness” is a reason to end its use.

“and we will never stop executing people so matter what. once a scumbag always a scumbag”

It is unclear who “we” are. Perhaps you can clarify that. Do you speak for a state? Or are you some kind of vigilante group? Also, do you argue that after someone is killed they are still a “Scumbag.”

Granted, I am an American and therefore I don’t think like the Chinese communists that you seem to admire, so maybe you can provide some specifics here.

Apr 15, 2008 8:19:20 AM, Last comment, Since Chinese culture is such that they don't want to tell other people how many people they killed, perhaps you can explain how AI erred in their stats.

Posted by: S.cotus | Apr 15, 2008 9:11:25 AM

This statistic is special (from the AI link included in the AP piece):

"91 per cent of all known executions in 2006 took place in China, Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, Sudan and the USA."

Aren't we keeping excellent company.

No surprise that members of the Bush Administration sat around in the WH "choreographing" torture -- er, interrogation -- sequences. I wonder whether they ate Cheetos or Doritos when they played Call of Duty afterward...

Posted by: Reader | Apr 15, 2008 10:03:32 AM

I don't see the connection. Most executions in the US are untaken by states, not the feds.

Posted by: S.cotus | Apr 15, 2008 10:25:29 AM

Yes, S.cotus but those same state voters also vote in federal elections (and, indeed, for this very President -- TX, KY, TN, AL, MS & OH, etc).

In any event, the comment was meant to reflect on the quality of our body politic & our leaders generally, even if states do the bulk of our executin'. Also, let's not forget that G-dubya authorized plenty of texecutions prior to becoming preznit. I can't help but think that his exposure to and approval of the killing of citizens played some role in developing and approving the hideous kinds of policies that we now know the Administration adopted & practiced.

Posted by: Reader | Apr 15, 2008 10:34:59 AM

China was reported to have led in absolute term the number of executions in 2007. Based on the statistics provided by Amnesty International, in terms of percentage of executions in China against total executions worldwide (51 countries), it was 14%. Given that China's population was about 25% of world population, it seems to me that the number of executions in China was relatively low in percentage term against its population in 2007, when compared to per capita executions in other countries.Thus, as economist familar with statistical analysis, I am of the view that it is misleading to report that China has led in executions, without analysing in relative terms.

Posted by: BuluhKuning | Apr 15, 2008 11:36:26 AM

There is over one billion people in China, or so, I believe.

Note: Life is precious and must be respected. All humanitarian concepts are God centered. That is, no twenty-first century intelligent human would have ever respected life, if it was not for Devine Revelation. The human spirit knows God exists. Even atheists are closet believers. How do I know they are believers? They have chosen to ignore God, and praise evil, by their very own denial of the Maker of Heaven and Earth.

They believe in Karma, reincarnation, among other make believe things.

As for China: 400 out of one billion, hum. Seems the per capita ratio would be actually represent they are in par with the rest of world. You go China.

Posted by: | Apr 15, 2008 5:40:01 PM

In response to "You go China". I have been to China several times as a tourist and have seen how this nation progressed from a backward country to one that is very vibrant, especially Shanghai. Shanghai is much more vibrant than any big city in the US or UK. The issue is: I feel much more secured in Beijing or Shanghai than in New York, although my experience in Boston as a postgraduate student in the late 1970s was pleasant. In China, I am not worried about the Government. They seems reasonable. I am more worried about the small business operators in China. I was informed by the local tour guides if do not want to buy their goods, please do not bargain on the price with them. If you bargain and they reduce the price to match your request, you better buy the goods or else they will curse you. In New York, if you ask a shop attendant on the price of a camera, he may ask you whether you have the money to buy. In fact, I am more fearful of US police after seeing their astrocities as well as knowing how Iragi prisoners of war being mistreated, compared to China's. Per capita execution in China is not on par but lower than many countries. Amnesty International should be more tranparent in its analysis.

Posted by: BuluhKuning | Apr 19, 2008 12:19:31 PM

Amnesty is not judging per capita. That is absurd! Oh, it's not that bad because they have a billion people anyway. The point is they are executing people and no one has the right to do that.

This has nothing to do with god. Well it does in the respect that all life is sacred and divine. But that is as far as it goes. Just because you believe in god doesn't mean that god exists. It cannot be argued. Just admit that you don't know. I believe in god, but I also recognize that I don't know. These are two compatible beliefs.

And saying no person would respect life without divine revelation is just absurd! I know I don't want to die, so that means I know hardly anyone else wants to die. God is not involved in that equation and we cannot speak for god. We can only speak for ourselves.

If you have such hate for yourselves that you have to see someone put to death for crimes that they committed because of their circumstances and their upbringing then that is sad. Rehabilitation may not be possible, but it also may be possible. They must be given the benefit of the doubt. Murdering someone does not make up for the murder of someone else. That is childish logic. Compassion is what this world needs. We must even be compassionate to the "worst" people.

Amnesty is a reliable source. They understand that showing compassion towards all living things is in our best interest as opposed to hating someone for committing a hateful deed.


Posted by: | Oct 15, 2008 7:21:25 PM

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