China ranks tops in a dubious distinction: According to Amnesty International, this country executed more people last year than all other countries combined.
The human-rights group said that while use of the death penalty was down elsewhere, China’s imposition of capital punishment remains highly troubling. Thirty-one countries abolished the death penalty in the past decade, and executions “went down from at least 714 people in 2009 to at least 527 in 2010, excluding China,” Amnesty said. The actual number of executions is unknown, as China considers is a state secret.
“China used the death penalty in 2010 against thousands of people for a wide range of crimes that include non-violent offences and after proceedings that did not meet international fair trial standards,” Amnesty said.