The Global Trend of Death Penalty and Its Impact on Society

The issue of capital punishment continues to be a significant topic of debate worldwide. Despite efforts by many countries to abolish it, the number of executions has been on the rise in recent years. In 2022, Amnesty International recorded 883 executions, excluding China, which does not release information about its use of the death penalty. This number represents a 53% increase compared to the previous year, making it the highest number of executions since 2017.

The countries with the highest number of executions, apart from China, were Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and the United States. Amnesty International also highlights eleven countries, including China, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the US, Vietnam, Yemen, and possibly North Korea, that persistently execute people every year. It is believed that China executes thousands of people annually, but the exact figures remain unconfirmed.

The death row experience for individuals can be a prolonged one, with many spending years or even decades awaiting their execution. This practice raises ethical concerns and poses challenges to the justice system as it questions the effectiveness and fairness of capital punishment.

Several countries have taken steps towards abolishing or limiting the use of the death penalty. In 2022, six countries completely or partially abolished it. Kazakhstan, Papua New Guinea, Sierra Leone, and the Central African Republic abolished it entirely, while Equatorial Guinea and Zambia stated that it would only be used for the most serious crimes.

Drug-related offenses have been one of the key reasons for executions worldwide. In 2022, 325 executions were carried out for drug offenses. However, drug shortages have contributed to a decline in the use of the death penalty in the United States. Three states, including Alabama, have approved the use of nitrogen gas as an alternative method of execution due to difficulties in obtaining lethal injection drugs.

The death penalty remains a divisive issue, with proponents arguing it serves as a deterrent and a just punishment for heinous crimes, while opponents emphasize its inhumane nature and the potential for wrongful convictions. The debate surrounding the death penalty often touches upon broader themes of human rights, justice, and the role of the state in administering punishment.

As the global trend of capital punishment evolves, it is crucial for societies to engage in open dialogue and consider the implications of continuing or abolishing the death penalty. Questions regarding its effectiveness, morality, and potential alternatives must be explored to ensure a just society that upholds the dignity and rights of all individuals.