Country-by-country death penalty data now available


By Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law, on 19 April 2011

The Center for International Human Rights at Northwestern University School of Law (Chicago, USA) and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty have launched an international database on the practice and laws of retentionist states.
This new and unique resource will enhance the general understanding of the application of the death penalty and prospects for abolition.
Data from 90 states and 2 territories have been compiled by an international team of researchers. The database includes statistics, information on penal laws, criminal procedure, death row conditions and political developments.
It is now available on line at

Invaluable resource

The data is publicly accessible and searchable, and will provide an invaluable resource for policymakers, lawyers, courts, activists, scholars and the media searching for information on the use of the death penalty.
“We found that in the vast majority of retentionist states, there is a lively and serious debate about the merits of abolition. Many governments that were previously committed to continuing a practice of state-sponsored executions have encouraged legislative committees or other bodies to consider the merits of abolishing the death penalty – or, at a minimum, to narrowing the scope of its application,” said Sandra Babcock, Clinical Professor at Northwestern University Law School.

The database was launched on 14 April 2011 at the Council of Europe (photo above) and will be presented at the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights in the Gambia, at the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, and at the World Coalition’s annual general meeting in Morocco.

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