The civilized world is moving away from the death penalty. While 55 countries still retain the executions for ordinary crimes, 108 countries have completely abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and 28 countries have effectively abolished the death penalty by not executing anyone over the past ten years. Only 20 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2018, the most recent year for which I could garner statistics. Amnesty International recorded at least 690 executions worldwide in 2018, a 31 percent decline from the 993 executions it recorded in 2017 and 58 percent below the 25-year-high total of 1,634 reported executions in 2015.

The country that executes the most of its citizens is China. Because China refuses to make public the number of people it kills, we can only estimate; authorities suggest that number is more than a thousand a year. Other leading execution countries are Iran, Egypt, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia; the numbers killed range from a few dozen to hundreds.

Among the civilized democracies of the world, the U.S. is the only one that still puts people to death. It is the only G7 country to still execute people. In 2020, the U.S. executed 22 people.

By way of background: The Group of Seven (G7) is an inter-governmental political forum consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

More next time.

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