Washington D.C., Apr 12, 2018 / 23:00 pm
After a record-high year of death sentences implemented around the world in 2016, a new report released by Amnesty International shows an overall decrease in capital punishment during 2017.
However, the group reported, many countries are still implementing executions which ignore international law.
Amnesty International released the report this week, highlighting the execution and death penalty rates around the globe.
The organization particularly applauded sub-Saharan Africa, where multiple countries have made strides in reducing or eliminating capital punishment in 2017.
“Now that 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, it is high time that the rest of the world follows their lead and consigns this abhorrent punishment to the history books,” said Salil Shetty, secretary general for Amnesty International.
In a news release, Shetty pointed to Guinea, which outlawed the death penalty, and Kenya, which eliminated the mandatory death penalty for murder. Burkina Faso and Chad also look legislative measures to repeal capital punishment, while the president of Gambia enacted a temporary ban on executions in February 2018.
Much of the world has followed suit, Amnesty International found, noting that 142 countries in total have abolished the death penalty in law or in practice by 2017. The report cited a total of 993 executions in 23 countries in 2017 – a number of executions which has dropped 4 percent from the previous year.
This decrease followed a particularly high rate of executions in 2016, which saw 1,032 deaths by capital punishment around the world.