Three Charts That Explain The State Of The Death Penalty

Apr 01, 2015 at 2:23 PM ET

Governments executed 607 people last year, a 22 percent drop from the previous year. That’s the good news. But that statistic doesn’t paint a full picture of countries’ reliance on the death penalty: Last year, there was a rise in the number of people sentenced to death—it was up 28 percent, to 2,466, according to a new report from Amnesty International.

The increase in death sentences was mainly because two countries—Nigeria and Egypt—sentenced a lot more people to die than they had before. Egypt issued 400 more death sentences in 2014 than 2013, while Nigeria upped its count by 518. Overall, there are an estimated 19,094 people scattered throughout the world sitting on death row, according to the report.

Note: A number of human-rights watchers believe that China has executed more people than the rest of the world combined, but Amnesty doesn’t include that country in its listings because of a lack of trustworthy data.

Read More:

Death Sentences And Executions 2014 (Amnesty International)
The Nation’s Largest Death Row Has Run Out Of Room (Vocativ)