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Electric chair (Florida Department of Corrections)

Death penalties by country

In 92 countries, there is a death penalty imposed by law. Of these, 8 countries apply the death penalty only to particularly serious crimes such as, war crimes. It has also been discontinued in 28 countries for at least 10 years - although there can still be penalties with pending executions.

In 2021 alone, 3000 people were sentenced to death and at least 1571 were actually executed. In addition, there is a larger number of unreported cases from individual countries, which cannot be estimated due to government restrictions.

Death penalties by country in 2021

Execution of the death penalty by country
No death penalty
Only on serious crimes
Death penatly abolished in practice
Death penalty imposed and enforced

The following table contains the countries where a death penalty was legally possible in 2021. All data are provided by Amnesty International, where only registered and evaluated cases have been listed.

CountryStatusExecutionsDeath sentencesLast execution
Afghanistanactive022018
Algeriaabolished in practice091993
Antigua and Barbudaactive001991
Bahamasactive002000
Bahrainactive032019
Bangladeshactive51812021
Barbadosactive001984
Belarusactive112021
Belizeactive001985
Botswanaactive362021
Brazilonly for serious crimes001876
Bruneiabolished in practice001957
Burkina Fasoonly for serious crimes001988
Burmaabolished in practice0862022
Cameroonabolished in practice041997
Central African Republicabolished in practice001981
Chileonly for serious crimes001985
China*active1,000+1,000+2021
Comorosactive001997
Cubaactive002003
Democratic Republic of the Congoactive0812003
Dominica (2016)active001986
Egyptactive833562021
El Salvadoronly for serious crimes001973
Equatorial Guineaactive002014
Eritreaabolished in practice001989
Eswatiniabolished in practice001983
Ethiopiaactive0unknown2007
Gambiaactive032012
Ghanaabolished in practice071993
Grenadaabolished in practice001978
Guatemalaonly for serious crimes002000
Guyanaactive041997
Indiaactive01442020
Indonesiaactive01142016
Iranactive314unknown2021
Iraqactive17912021
Israelonly for serious crimes001962
Jamaicaactive001988
Japanactive332021
Jordanactive0112017
Kazakhstanonly for serious crimes002003
Kenyaabolished in practice0141987
Kuwaitactive052017
Laosabolished in practice001989
Lebanonactive0122004
Lesothoactive001984
Liberiaabolished in practice002000
Libyaactive0unknown2010
Malawiabolished in practice0111992
Malaysiaactive0142017
Maldivesabolished in practice011952
Maliabolished in practice0481980
Mauritaniaabolished in practice0601987
Moroccoabolished in practice011993
Nigerabolished in practice001976
Nigeriaactive0562016
North Koreaactiveunknownunknown2012
Omanactiveunknownunknown2020
Pakistanactive01292019
Palestineactive0212017
Papua New Guineaabolished in practice001954
Peruonly for serious crimes001979
Puerto Ricoactive002019
Qataractive0unknown2020
Russiaabolished in practice001996
Saint Kitts and Nevisactive002008
Saint Luciaactive001995
Saint Vincent and the Grenadinesactive001995
Saudi Arabiaactive6582021
Sierra Leoneabolished in practice0231998
Singaporeactive0102019
Somaliaactive21272021
South Koreaabolished in practice001997
South Sudanactive9102021
Sri Lankaabolished in practice081976
Sudanactive072019
Syriaactive24unknown2021
Taiwanactive022020
Tajikistanabolished in practice002004
Tanzaniaabolished in practice01995
Thailandactive0unknown2018
Tongaabolished in practice001982
Trinidad and Tobagoactive031999
Tunisiaabolished in practice031991
Ugandaactive022003
United Arab Emiratesactive192021
United Statesactive11182021
Vietnamactiveunknown1192018
Yemenactive142982021
Zambiaabolished in practice091997
Zimbabweactive012003


* Note on China
The data for China correspond to those of Anmesty International, but at the same time it is pointed out that these are only of a symbolic nature. Due to the secrecy of the actual case figures, it is not possible to give correct values. Amnesty International and other human rights organisations speak of several thousand executions per year.


Death penalty in the United States

Electric chair (Florida Department of Corrections) The legal situation varies among the individual states. The death penalty has been formally abolished in 22 of the 50 states, as well as in the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. In other states, it is still imposed but no longer carried out. Independent of state legislatures, federal courts can still impose a death sentence in cases of federal crimes.

Through the media, the electric chair is probably the best-known method of execution in the US. In fact, it has been used only 163 times since 1979. With over 1300 cases, injection of a poison is considerably more common. The state with significantly the most executions in the past 40 years is Texas. It is followed by Virginia, Oklahoma and Florida.

Types of executions

Executions always depend on the laws of the country in question. The most common species since the turn of the millennium:
  • Electric chair (mainly in the USA)
  • Decapitation (mainly in Saudi Arabia)
  • Hanging (mainly Muslim countries, as well as Japan and Singapore)
  • Shooting (USA, China, North Korea, Somalia, Vietnam, etc.)
  • Stoning to death (due to the Islamic Sharia in Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, Nigeria, Somalia)
  • Lethal injection or gas chamber (China, USA, Thailand, etc.)