Of the 35 independent states in the Americas that are UN members:

  • 3 (9%) maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.
  • 15 (43%) have abolished it.
  • 4 (11%) retain it for crimes committed in exceptional circumstances (such as in time of war).
  • 13 (37%) permit its use for ordinary crimes, but have not used it for at least 10 years and are believed to have a policy or established practice of not carrying out executions, or it is under a moratorium.

The information above is accurate as of 2010 when both Guatemala and the Bahamas became de facto abolitionist states by not having carried out executions for ten years.

  • The United States was the only country in the Americas to carry out executions in 2011. The United States carries out more executions than any other liberal democracy (as defined byFreedom House) in the world. The only other countries in the Americas which practice capital punishment are Cuba and St. Kitts and Nevis.

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