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
Local

Transit changes for Labor Day weekend

The MTA is adding additional service Friday for New Yorkers getting out of the city for the long weekend. On Friday, Aug. 29, 27 additional…

Local

Marshals, cops arrest fugitive after shootout in Queens

Federal authorities arrested a fugitive hiding out in Queens after he shot at U.S. Marshals and officers with the New York City Police Department.

Breaking: National

Peter Theo Curtis: American released by Syrian militants…

An American writer freed this week from two years in the captivity of insurgents in Syria spoke briefly outside his family's Cambridge home Wednesday of…

News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

Music

Tiesto headlines Made in America

Electronic music legend Tiesto is ready to get in touch with his inner Rocky at the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America festival this weekend…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.