There have been significant changes to the death penalty over the last thousand years. As debates continues around the world, here are 11 facts about the death penalty that you should know.
Warning: this article contains material that some readers may find distressing.
- Based on available technology and culture, the methods of execution can vary between different regions. Hanging, beheading, lethal injections and firing squads are some of the standard tactics used for execution. However, a man in Saudi Arabia was recently beheaded and put on display in a practice known as crucifixion.
- China is known for keeping the number of people it executes a secret. Researchers use media sources that are reliable along with human rights group to estimate the number of executions in China. According to these sources, thousands of criminals are killed each year.
- There was a show called the Saturday Night Death Row Chat Show in China until 2012, where millions of people across the Henan Province in China tune in to watch a talk show where murderers are interviewed before they were executed.
- Execution is an unlikely outcome of a death penalty, as only 13% of the people sentenced to a death penalty are actually executed. Most either die (via natural causes or suicide) or have their sentence overturned before the execution could took place.
Death row electric chair
- Belarus is the only European country that has carried out executions since 1997.
- Iwao Hakamade, a Japanese man, was released after spending more than 45 years on death row after the court concluded that investigators are likely to have falsified evidence during his trial back in 1968.
- Executions were frequent public affairs that often drew thousands of people to watch in 19th Century America. An estimated 20,000 people from around the country watched the last public execution in the USA.
- It has been 55 years since the last man was hanged in the United Kingdom.
- According to a British Embassy Report in 2002, two prisoners in Uzbekistan had been executed by being boiled! It is believed that many of the 6,000 political prisoners in Uzbekistan are tortured to death.
- Since 1978, more than $4 billion dollars have been spent on the death penalty in California. They have executed only 13 people in that time.
- Southern US, which executes more people than Northern US, Canada and Mexico, also has the highest murder rate.
Have you got any interesting facts about the death penalty that you’d like to share here? Let us know in the comments section below!
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