Culture Guides

Top of the Capital Punishment Charts!

Murder’s too good for them but hey, it’s cheap.

Whereas capital punishment was once widespread across the world, the 20th century came along and spoiled all the fun with something called ‘human rights’. But the party isn’t over yet as some die-hard states keep the homicidal flag flying strong!

Here are the front runners:

1. China – Thousands!

No one can come close to China when it comes to official executions but at least they’re modest about it and don’t release the numbers that are thought to be several thousand a year. But with that famous commercial instinct they do sometimes sell on the organs of the deceased and even time the executions to meet foreign demand – that’s the spirit of globalisation!

2. Iran – 388

God’s will be done in Iran, even if that does mean killing children. Two thirds of all juvenile offenders executed by governments in 2009 were in Iran. They’re way behind China but proportionately they’re not doing bad with a total of 388 murdered for crimes against the Koran.

3. Iraq – 120

Iraq has seen so much death in recent years thanks to the Western policy of forced regime change even when we knew there were no weapons of mass destruction. Moreover after years of the slaughter of the Kurdish and Shiite minorities it’s perhaps no surprise that Iraq came in at 120 executions last year.

4. Saudi Arabia – 69

Whereas Saudi Arabia may not quite muster the numbers of its neighbours when it comes to official blood lust, give them points for style. Execution by the sword is an official method of execution and for extreme crimes crucifixion hasn’t gone out of style either. And they still consider witchcraft to be capital offense – you can take the Bedouin out of the desert but not the other way around…

5. US – 52

American pride may well sag when compared to the state-sanctioned deaths of the Middle East and China (though it doesn’t do too badly abroad) but give them points for moving with the times as Utah Attorney General, Mark Shurtleff used his insider status to announce a recent execution via Twitter and gain himself some more followers – the ultimate in self-promtion! Viral marketers take note…

The Yemen deserves an honourable mention with 30 executions and then there the also-rans with less than 10 state murders a year: Sudan, Vietnam, Syria, Japan, Egypt, Libya, Bangladesh, Thailand, Singapore, Botswana, Malaysia and North Korea.