WASHINGTON (ABP) — The United States ranks third, behind only China and Iran, in reported executions, according to a new report by a human-rights group that opposes the death penalty.
Amnesty International's annual report on the death penalty, released April 6, noted four countries accounted for 84 percent of the 1,146 government-reported executions worldwide in 2003 — the United States (65), China (726), Iran (108) and Vietnam (64).
The report cautioned that the actual execution figures for China, Iran and Vietnam — known human-rights abusers — were likely higher due to unreported executions.
The report also noted that the U.S. and China were the only nations in 2003 known to have executed prisoners who committed the crimes of which they were convicted while they were juveniles.
According to Amnesty International, 77 nations had abolished the death penalty altogether by the end of 2003, and 40 more had abolished it in practice. The total of 117 countries not practicing capital punishment was five more than in 2002.