Death penalties spread as elite nations return to capital punishment

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

Executions increased last year, resumed in several countries, and were used for lighter offences, according to Amnesty International’s ‘Death Penalty in 2012’ report.

The global total of 682 confirmed executions was two higher than 2011, although Amnesty acknowledged the actual number was far higher. In a “worrying setback”, G20 nations Japan and India carried out their first executions since 2010 and 2004 respectively, and Pakistan it’s first since 2008. China executed most people, with thousands of known instances, but these are a state secret.

The highest recorded total was 314 in Iran, with the actual figure closer to 600. Public executions and televised confessions rose sharply in 2012 under President Mahmoud Ahmedinijad, and the number of death sentences for homosexuality and irreligious behavior increased. ”Iran has got away from us and its painful to watch”, Amnesty expert Drewery Dike told Metro. ”Human rights in general have been ground into the dust. ”

The US remains in the top five, executing 43 people in 2012 – the same as 2011. Connecticut became the 17th state to abolish the death penalty, with two more close to a moratorium. Texas conducted the most with 15 but campaigners cite progress there too: “death sentences are dropping to historically low levels, as there has been greater discussion about the exorbitant cost and the alternative of life in prison without parole”, said Kristin Houle of the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

Amnesty also expressed concern at a rise in cruel methods of execution. “Some methods such as crucifixion in Saudi Arabia are horrific and disturbing, although we are keen to avoid saying any method is ‘better’“, said Audrey Gaughan, Director of Global Issues.




News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.