Amnesty: Executions Reach Highest Total in 5 Years

Image copyright: AP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • Amnesty International on Tuesday issued its annual report on the death penalty, revealing that the number of recorded executions in 2022 was 883 people, the most in a half-decade.

  • The total is a 53% increase over 2021, with 90% of the executions performed by Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. However, the reported total is skewed because Amnesty couldn't report figures from China, which keeps its death penalty data classified but is believed to kill thousands annually.

The Spin

Narrative A

The death penalty is a wickedly inhumane and evil form of punishment that is a stain on governments and humanity. Some countries are more extreme than others in the way they choose to callously murder their citizens, but the death penalty is always wrong. The state shouldn't decide who lives or dies — the death penalty must be abolished.

Narrative B

The death penalty is a necessary legal recourse to deal with the most heinous and depraved criminals. Not only does executing murderers and terrorists bring justice, but it also acts as a deterrent for other potentially dangerous criminals. The level of legal consideration those on death row receive is far higher than other sentences, so the death penalty should continue to be part of the legal system as it has been for millennia.

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