Capital Punishment on the Rise in 2015


Capital punishment is on the rise as a record number of executions were carried out around the world in 2015. According to a report issued by Amnesty International 1634  executions took place in 2015, 500 more than the previous year. The real number is probably much higher.

Amnesty International has not included China in its report because the human rights organisation does not get reliable data from the country. In China alone thousands are thought to be executed each year, making it the leading country.

90% of all the executions around the world were carried out in only three countries - Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.These countries kill people who threaten state security or are charged with terrorist activities. Most of the executions take place after mock or unfair trials. Pakistan did not execute any prisoners between 2008 and 2014, but resumed state killings in 2015.

The United States ranks fifth in the global execution list. Only 28 were carried out in 2015, the lowest number since 1991.  This is partly due to the problems that have come up with lethal injections.


More than two-thirds of all countries have abolished the death penalty and the trend is growing steadily. 60 states around the world still have some form of capital punishment.



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  • abolish = get rid of , ban
  • according to = as reported by ...
  • are thought to be = it is reported that something is true, even if there are no facts
  • capital punishment = when the state officially kills a person who has committed a crime
  • carry out = do something
  • charge with = to make a formal statement saying that someone has committed a crime
  • data = information
  • death penalty = capital punishment ; the official killing of a person by the state
  • due to = because of
  • execution =when someone is killed by the state
  • global = worldwide
  • human rights = the basic rights that everyone should have, like the right to speak freely or the right to vote
  • include = here: it is not in the report
  • issue = to make public so that everyone  can see it
  • lethal injection = killing someone by injecting a mixture of drugs into their body
  • mock = not real; just to show off
  • previous = here: the year before
  • rank = position on a list
  • record = more than ever before
  • reliable = something you can trust
  • resume = continue after a break
  • rise = go up
  • state security = to defend or protect the interests of a state
  • steadily = slowly, constantly
  • threaten = to be dangerous  to someone
  • trial = when a judge and a jury tries to find out if someone is guilty or not