The death penalty in 2008
In 2008, at least 2,390 people were known to have been executed in 25 countries and at least 8,864 people were sentenced to death in 52 countries around the world.
As in previous years, the five countries with the highest number of executions in 2008 were China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States of America (Fig. 1). Together these five countries carried out 93 per cent of all executions carried out in 2008. These countries provide the greatest challenge towards global abolition of the death penalty.
Fig.1: Executions in 2008 by region