The Death Penalty Worldwide database was created in partnership with the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
and with financial support from the European Union.
At the dawn of the 21st century, the death penalty is considered by most civilized nations as a cruel and inhuman punishment. It has been abolished de jure or de facto by 106 nations, 30 countries have abolished it since 1990. However, the death penalty continues to be commonly applied in other nations. China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the United States and Iran are the most prolific executioners in the world. While international documents have restricted and in some cases even banned the death penalty, its application is still not against customary international law. Much debate continues in the US as to whether it constitutes an appropriate punishment, at least to the most heinous crimes. In recent years, the debate has been further fueled by the use of new technologies which have shown that a large proportion of people sentenced to death are, indeed, innocent. News | Facts | Law | General Websites | Regional Sites | Abolitionist Sites | Pro DP-Sites | Death Row | Writings & Art | Prisons | Documents | Reports | Articles | Education Resources | Fora & Blogs | Experts | Actions
In Special Consultative Status with the
UN Economic and Social Council since 2017