The Washington Post WorldViews blog posts, "An eye-opening map of which countries execute the most prisoners," by Caitlin Dewey.
Amnesty International’s latest report on capital punishment indicates that the world still executed roughly the same number of people, from roughly the same number of countries, as it did in 2011.
New in 2012, though, is a dramatic doubling of executions in Iraq and reversals of long-standing death penalty moratoriums in countries such as Japan and India.
First, the numbers: Twenty-one countries carried out executions in 2012, the same as 2011. Those countries — of which China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are the biggest offenders — executed at least 682 people, or two more than in 2011. That’s not including China, which is thought to execute far more prisoners than any other country. Some 58 countries also imposed 1,722 death sentences – just the sentence, not the actual execution – versus 63 countries and 1,923 sentences the year before.
To put those numbers in context, they’re all down from a decade ago, when more than 30 countries carried out executions. But in the short term, it’s hard to see a global trend in either direction — the number of executions and imposed sentences have both swung unpredictably, especially since 2005.
Earlier coverage of the 2012 Amnesty report is at the link.