Executions, death sentences on the rise, Amnesty reports

Executions, death sentences on the rise, Amnesty reports

[JURIST] At least 3,797 people were executed in 2004 and at least 7,395 people in 64 countries were sentenced to death last year, according to the annual report on the use of capital punishment released by Amnesty International [advocacy website] Tuesday. In The death penalty worldwide: developments in 2004 [report text], Amnesty reports that the number of executions, which does not include executions that many governments fail to officially report, is the second highest figure the organization has recorded in the 25 years Amnesty has been monitoring capital punishment. The number of death sentences is the highest figure Amnesty has reported in 10 years. China topped the list, carrying out at least 3,400 executions in 2004, but Amnesty estimates the actual number could be closer to 10,000. A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Tuesday that China is "a country ruled by law and rules in accordance with the law." Amnesty's report also names China and Iran as countries that still execute children, and praises the United States for last month's Supreme Court decision abolishing the death penalty for juveniles [JURIST report]. Read the Amnesty press release on the report and more from Reuters.