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The History of the Death Penalty and the Country Where It Is Still Not Abolished

By Alexia Wolker

History of the death penalty goes way back, and it was one of the most discussed methods of sentence all the time. Some still use it as an extreme sentence, and everyone has a thing to say about that.

Stone throwing (stoning), crushing, evisceration, and tearing, burning, hanging, and crucifixion are long-tested and extremely violent man-made punishments to end the lives of his fellow men. Unfortunately, history has repeatedly proven that public executions have never reduced the incidence of crime. In England, hang gliders had become the scene of whims, drunkenness, and weekly family fun - while pocket thieves were working among spectators.

The death penalty is now reserved for serious crimes such as premeditated murder, treason, espionage or rape. And when the sentence is actually being enforced - about one in 30 capital convictions in the United States - the methods of execution used in Western states are: by shooting by a platoon of execution, hanging, gas, electrocution on the electric seat and deadly shot - all of which are relatively quick practices.

History of capital punishment

In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, death was the sentence for many more offenses, some even trivial in terms of modern standards. In India, you could be sentenced to death for spreading lying rumors, killing a cow or stealing a royal elephant. In Egypt, during the cat’s veneration, a cat's killing was punished with death. The Jews had the sentence of death for profanity, Babylonians, for the sale of spoiled beer, Assyrians, for those who were making your new hair look unprofessional since stylish hairstyles were signs of high rank.

For centuries, the Christian Church has burned down the heretics, keeping the definition of heresy flexible enough to include enemies, friends, or anyone with a truly creative idea. Later, in colonized America, eccentric elderly women were drowned because they had "crazy" eyes, possessing a black cat. The youngsters had the same fate as a result of indiscrete sexual behavior.

Amnesty International claims that only 142 countries are in the situation mentioned in the report and that, in fact, over the past five years, there has been at least one execution in 33 countries. The organization gets information from officials, media reports, and information sent by people sentenced to death, but also their families.

Let’s see some numbers!

Many people wonder how many persons had their lives taken in the 21st century due to this penalty and they are looking into different topics, reading essays or requesting writing essay services. Even if this topic is very hard to look in to, Amnesty International has made some diggings with the wish of protecting human entitlements and stop the death sentence.

In the United States, in 2017, 23 people were executed. In October 2018, Washington became the 20th state to ban the death penalty which shocked free people. Also, don’t forget what happened in 1976 when the USA restores the death penalty as a way of sentence. The number of countries that have taken the decision to internalize it rose from 48 in 1991 to 106 in 2017.


Photo source – Amnesty international

Among the countries that executed between 2013 and 2017 are: Afghanistan, Belarus, Botswana, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Somalia, Sudan, Taiwan, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, USA, Vietnam and Yemen. And among the nations where no killings have taken place, though the law doesn’t ban them, are Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Guyana, Jamaica, Qatar, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Particular statistics present:

  • In 106 countries the death penalty is forbidden by law
  • In 7 countries is permitted only in extreme conditions
  • 29 countries can use the death penalty, but they have not executed anybody in the last 10 years
  • 56 countries keep the death penalty; either continue to execute people, or the authorities have not made an official statement to ban them

Since the UN has 193 member countries, it means that 23 states have applied at least one such punishment over the last decade. And the information was obtained from the representatives of those particular states, as well as from the civil society. Yet, Amnesty International claims that only 142 countries are in the situation mentioned in the report and that, in fact, over the past five years, there has been at least one killing in 33 countries. The organization gets data from officials, media reports, and evidence sent by people sentenced to death, but also their families.

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