INDEX



Document(s)

Special issue: a decade-long review of the death penalty for drug offences

By Harm Reduction International, on 7 May 2024


2024

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

This report builds on the pioneering work HRI has been doing since its first ‘The Death Penalty for Drug Offences: Global Overview (‘Global Overview’) in 2007. It analyses how the landscape of the death penalty for drug offences has shifted in the last decade, looking at the main trends regarding people on death row, death sentences and executions for drug offences, as well as key developments at national and international level in the period between 2014 and 2023.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Arbitrary and Capricious: Examining Racial Disparities in Harris County’s Pursuit of Death Sentences

By Texas Defender Service, on 24 April 2024


2024

NGO report

United States


More details See the document

Published on February 2024.

Texas has executed more people than any other state. However, out of the 254 counties in Texas, 136 have never sent an individual to death row. Harris County—Texas’s largest county and home to the city of Houston—stands out as the “death penalty capital of the world.” Harris County has executed more people than any state in the United States except Texas3 and is responsible for a quarter of the 1,124 people who have been sent to Texas’s death row since 1973.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Lethal injection in the modern era: cruel, unusual and racist

By Reprieve , on 24 April 2024


NGO report

Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

United States


More details See the document

Published on April 2024.

Researchers at Reprieve conducted an in-depth comparative study of botched lethal injection executions in the modern era of the U.S. death penalty, cross-referenced against the 1,407 lethal injection executions carried out or attempted during that period.

This report examines the phenomenon of botched executions by lethal injection, exploring the trends and contributing factors leading to botched executions through an analysis of 73 botched executions in the 1,407 lethal injection executions since 1977 (known as the modern era of the death penalty in the U.S.). This analysis used a process called multi-variable logistic regression, a type of analysis that assesses the odds of something happening considering multiple variables, to assess how identifiable characteristics (gender, age, and race) were associated with botched executions.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment and Punishment

Document(s)

Taiwan: Amicus Curiae submission by Amnesty International and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty to the Constitutional Court

By Amnesty International, on 23 April 2024


2024

NGO report

Taiwan

zh-hant
More details See the document

Published on April 8, 2024.

As the Constitutional Court of the Republic of China considers a challenge to the constitutionality of the death penalty, Amnesty International Taiwan and the World Coalition Against the Death Penalty submitted a joint amicus curiae intervention, to ensure the protection of the rights of all those under sentence of death. The amicus interveners argue that the use of the death penalty in the Republic of China constitutes a violation of human rights as guaranteed under the Constitution and international law and standards; and sets the country against the global trend, which remains overwhelmingly in favour of abolition.

Document(s)

“Don’t let them kill us”: Iran’s relentless execution crisis since the 2022 uprising

By Amnesty International, on 4 April 2024


2024

NGO report

Iran (Islamic Republic of)

fa
More details See the document

Published in 2024.

This research briefing documents the horrifying surge in executions in Iran in 2023, the highest in eight years. More than half of the executions were for drug-related offences amid a distressing return to a lethal antinarcotics policy since Ebrahim Raisi’s rise to presidency in 2021. With systemic impunity in Iran, the briefing reiterates the need for states to initiate criminal investigations under the principle of universal jurisdiction into crimes under international law committed by Iranian officials, irrespective of the absence or presence of the accused in their territory. Since the “Woman Life Freedom” uprising of September-December 2022, the Iranian authorities have weaponized the death penalty to create a pervasive climate of fear across the country, exert control over the population, and suppress dissent and any challenge to their iron grip on power. As a result, 2023 saw an exponential increase in the number of recorded executions. The authorities executed at least 853 people in 2023, a 48% increase from 2022 when 576 people were executed and a 172% increase from 2021 when 314 people were executed. Amnesty International believes that the real number of executions is higher, but the Iranian authorities are not transparent about the number of people executed each year and do not make data on executions publicly available.

Document(s)

The Death Penalty For Drug Offences: Global Overview 2023

By Harm Reduction International, on 28 March 2024


2024

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

At the end of 2023, 34 countries retained the death for drug offences. In July 2023 Pakistan took the landmark decision to remove the death penalty from the list of punishments that can be imposed for certain violations of its Control of Narcotics Substances Act. This year also saw notable progress in Malaysia, which abolished the mandatory death penalty for all offences, including drug-related ones. This reform may impact the lives of over 700 people on death row for drug offences and bring the country one step closer to total abolition of capital punishment. In stark contrast to these positive developments is the record-high number of drug-related executions in 2023 at least 467. Of those executed, at least 59 people belonged to ethnic minority groups (in Iran and in Singapore), 13 individuals were foreign nationals, and six were women. These figures confirm that these groups are uniquely vulnerable to capital punishment as a tool of drug control. Despite not accounting for the dozens, if not hundreds, of executions believed to have taken place in China, Vietnam, and North Korea, the 467 executions that took place in 2023 represent a 44% increase from 2022.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses

Document(s)

Annual Report On the Death Penalty in Iran 2023

By Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) with the support of ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty), on 14 March 2024


2024

NGO report

Iran (Islamic Republic of)


More details See the document

Published on March 5, 2024

This report has been drafted by Iran Human Rights (IHRNGO) with the support of ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty). Since 2012, Iran Human Rights and ECPM have been working together for the publication, international release and distribution of annual reports on the death penalty in Iran.

The 16th annual report on the death penalty by Iran Human Rights and ECPM (Together Against the Death Penalty) provides an assessment and analysis of the 2023 death penalty trends in 2023 in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It sets out the number of executions in 2023, the trend compared to previous years, the legislative framework and procedures, charges, geographic distribution and a monthly breakdown of executions. Lists of the female and juvenile offenders executed in 2023 are also included in the tables. The report also looks into the abolitionist movement within Iran, including the forgiveness movement and its contribution to reducing the use of the death penalty, and provides analysis on how the international community can contribute to limiting the scope of the death penalty in Iran. The 2023 report is the result of hard work from Iran Human Rights members and supporters who took part in reporting, documenting, collecting, analysing and writing of its contents. We are especially grateful to Iran Human Rights sources inside Iran who incur a significant risk by reporting on unannounced and secret executions in prisons of 30 different provinces. Due to the very difficult context, the lack of transparency and the obvious risks and limitations that human rights defenders face in the Islamic Republic of Iran, this report does not give a complete picture of the use of the death penalty in Iran by any means. There are 46 reported executions which are not included in this report due to a lack of sufficient details or an inability to confirm cases through two different sources. However, it aims to provide the most complete and realistic figures possible in the present circumstances. The current report does not include suspicious deaths in custody, death row prisoners who died in prison before the executions or those killed under torture. ECPM supports the elaboration, editing process, publishing and distribution of this report in the framework of its international advocacy work against the death penalty. The problems of transparency on the data and information about the death penalty in Iran should be overcome by a strong strategy of distribution and dissemination. The overall objectives of this report for Iran Human Rights and ECPM are to call attention to and publicise the facts, in order to change national and international views on the situation of the death penalty in Iran, first executioner country in the world.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Iran (Islamic Republic of)

Document(s)

Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report 2023

By Project 39A, on 15 February 2024


2024

NGO report

India


More details See the document

Published in 2023.

This is the eighth edition of the Death Penalty in India: Annual Statistics Report. This annual publication presents changes in the death row population as well as political and legal developments in the administration of the death penalty in India each year. The statistics are compiled through a combination of data mining of court websites, media monitoring and Right to Information applications.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list India

Document(s)

Justice Project Pakistan, Pakistanis Imprisoned Abroad Database

By Justice Project Pakistan (JPP), on 7 February 2024


2024

NGO report

Pakistan


More details See the document

Pakistan is counted among the countries that rely heavily on foreign remittances for economic stability and foreign reserves. However, despite its dependence on foreign remittances from migrant workers, Pakistan has done little to protect its vulnerable citizens from landing in foreign jails. As a result, Pakistan has seen a significant increase in the number of prisoners and executions abroad. Inadequate oversight and the lack of proper enforcement of existing protections is a literal death sentence for scores of Pakistanis who simply seek a better life and improved prospects for loved ones by working abroad.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list Pakistan

Document(s)

Proven With(out) Certainty: How Judges Sentence Defendants to Death for Drug Offences in Iran

By Abdorrahman Boroumand Foundation for the Promotion of Human Rights and Democracy in Iran, Monash University and ELEOS Justice, on 6 February 2024


2024

NGO report

Drug Offenses


More details See the document

Published in April 2023.

Despite the reduction in the number of executions for drug offences during 2018-2020, a sudden increase in executions was recorded during 2021-2023: at least 131 known executions were recorded for drug offences in 2021, 253 executions in 2022, and 82 executions during the first 3 months of 2023 (Table). However, information concerning the death penalty in Iran is notoriously difficult to obtain because of the secrecy surrounding the country’s criminal justice process. This note provides a rare glimpse into the application of capital drug laws in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It exposes the idiosyncratic practices of the judiciary and its decision-making, using cases concerning the death penalty for drug offences—its imposition prohibited long under international standards. These judgments repeatedly use the language of ‘certainty’ in convicting the accused. In reality, to those familiar with basic fair trial standards, they raise serious concerns about miscarriages of justice that could potentially result in the erosion of legitimacy of the criminal ‘justice’ system in Iran.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Themes list Drug Offenses