The death penalty, also known as capital punishment, refers to the practice by states of putting a person to death for committing certain crimes.
Dozens of countries still use executions as a punishment for certain offenses, although most, including those in the European Union, have abolished it completely. Many people consider the death penalty a violation of human rights. Here you can find an automatic compilation of all DW content on the death penalty.
Amnesty International publishes its annual statistics on the death penalty, which has been completely abolished in only 104 of 198 countries. It remains extremely difficult to obtain verifiable data for the People's Republic of China. The Chinese government treats executions as a state secret. There are official statistics, but they are believed to be heavily sugarcoated.
Thousands still die by capital punishment worldwide, according to an Amnesty International report. One US state is planning to carry out a number of executions in a fast-track procedure due to a drug's expiration date.