Death Penalty Statistics 2010

Death Penalty Statistics 2010

Amnesty International Releases Death Sentences and Executions 2010

At the end of 2010 the global trend towards abolition of the death penalty could not have been clearer. While in the mid-1990s 40 countries on average were known to carry out executions each year, during the first years of this century executions were reported in 30 countries on average. Most recently, 25 countries reportedly executed prisoners in 2008 while 19 countries - the lowest number ever recorded by Amnesty International - did so in 2009. In 2010, 23 countries were known to have carried out executions. The number of countries that are abolitionist in law or practice has substantially increased over the past decade, rising from 108 in 2001 to 139 in recent years.

One more country, Gabon removed the death penalty from its legislation in 2010 and at the end of year bills abolishing the death penalty were pending in the parliaments of Lebanon, Mali, Mongolia, South Korea.

On December 21, 2010 the UN General Assembly adopted a third resolution on a moratorium on the use of the death penalty - 109 votes for, 41 against with 35 abstentions. More UN Member States supported the resolution in 2010 than at the vote on the 2008 resolution. And the number of votes against the resolution noticeably decreased in 2010, appropriately reflecting the worldwide trend towards ending the use of capital punishment.


At least 527 executions were carried out in 2010, not including the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China. Amnesty International does not publish minimum figures for China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. Instead Amnesty International challenges the Chinese authorities to publish figures for the number of people sentenced to death and executed each year to confirm their claims that there has been a reduction in the use of the death penalty in the country.

In addition to China, the world's top executioners included Iran (with at least 252 executions), North Korea (with at least 60), Yemen (with at least 53) and the United States (with 46).

At least 2024 new death sentences were known to have been imposed in 67 countries in 2010, and at least 17,833 were under sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2010. Again, these are minimum figures which are the safest that can be inferred from our research.

There were no reports of judicial executions carried out by stoning, although new death sentences by stoning were reportedly imposed in Iran, the Bauchi state of Nigeria and Pakistan. At least 10 women and four men remained under sentence of death by stoning in Iran at the end of the year.

Despite the clear prohibition in international law, Iran executed a juvenile offender in 2010. Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen all imposed death sentences on individuals that were below 18 years of age when the crimes were committed.

Although Nigeria's Child Rights Act prohibits the death penalty, more than 20 prisoners currently on death row in that country were sentenced for offences committed when they were below the age of 18.

An Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would allow the death penalty for ?aggravated? homosexuality, was awaiting consideration by the Parliament of Uganda at the end of 2010.

More info on the Annual Death Penalty Statistics