An Egyptian court has sentenced 75 people to death for their roles in the violent uprising that followed a 2013 coup, the latest in a series of flare-ups around the world concerning the death penalty.

Expand chart
Data: Amnesty International; Map: Kerrie Vila/Axios

The bigger picture: Worldwide, as in the U.S., fewer people are being executed in fewer places. But capital punishment remains a potent political issue.

Recent controversies...

  • In the U.K, Home Secretary Sajid Javid broke longstanding U.K. extradition policy by declining to seek an assurance the U.S. would not pursue the death penalty for two British ISIS fighters, prompting backlash.
  • In Kenya, where the last execution was conducted in 1987, a former beauty queen has been controversially sentenced to death for fatally stabbing her boyfriend.
  • In Sri Lanka, President Maithripala Sirisena has vowed to end a 42-year moratorium on capital punishment for drug smugglers, citing public demand due to rising gang violence and narcotics abuse, reports the AP. The EU and other countries have warned Sri Lanka that an end to the moratorium will prompt trade retaliation.
  • In Japan, the execution of seven members of a deadly cult has renewed questions about the transparency of the death penalty system, reports The Japan Times. Japan and the U.S. are two of the few wealthy countries that continue to use the death penalty.

By the numbers...

  • At least 993 judicial executions took place worldwide last year across 20 countries, per Amnesty International. That's a 4% drop from 2016, but doesn't include China, North Korea or Vietnam, where numbers weren't available.
  • 51% of those executions took place in Iran, with Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Pakistan also carrying out upwards of 60 executions.
  • 13 countries executed people by hanging. 8 used shooting, 3 used lethal injection and 1, Saudi Arabia, used beheading.
  • 142 countries have either de jure or de facto bans on the death penalty, per Amnesty International.

Worth noting: 55% of Americans support the death penalty for those convicted of murder, per Gallup, down from 69% a decade ago.

Go deeper

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 31,779,835 — Total deaths: 975,104 — Total recoveries: 21,890,442Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 6,933,548 — Total deaths: 201,884 — Total recoveries: 2,670,256 — Total tests: 97,459,742Map.
  3. Health: CDC director says over 90% of Americans have not yet been exposed to coronavirus — Supply shortages continue to plague testing.
  4. Politics: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson tests positive for coronavirus — Poll says 51% of Republicans trust Trump on coronavirus more than the CDC.
  5. Technology: The tech solutions of 2020 may be sapping our resolve to beat the coronavirus
  6. Vaccines: Johnson & Johnson begins large phase 3 trial — The FDA plans to toughen standards.
  7. Sports: Less travel is causing the NBA to see better basketball.
  8. Future: America's halfway coronavirus response

"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

Details: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Details: A police spokesperson told a press briefing a suspect was in custody and that the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Get Axios AM in your inbox

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!