Now that there is a global movement against the death penalty, let’s take a look at the states that allow death penalty and had executions in 2019. Go back over a hundred years and the death penalty was followed by nearly every country. Go back even further and the death penalty wasn’t just present, but was the preferred form of punishment for even minor crimes. In fact, the first established death penalty law can be found back in 18th century BC in Babylon; it was the preferred form of punishment for 25 crimes! And back then, there was no such thing as a humane execution; some of the forms of execution used in 16th century in England include beheading, hanging, burning at the stake and even boiling alive! And in the 1700s, you could be sentenced to death for simply cutting down a tree, one of 222 crimes which could see you being killed, signifying the lackadaisical attitude shown towards human life.
As times progressed, nations started realizing that maybe killing someone for crimes committed is perhaps not as important as giving them a chance at reformation and rehabilitation. However, this mindset is generally only seen in advanced nations, including most developed Western nations. In fact, unsurprisingly, the US is the only developed Western country in the world to still practice the death penalty. Even the father of the guillotine, France, banned the death penalty in 1981. Altogether, of the 195 members of the United Nations, only 55 nations still practice the death penalty. These nations are generally present in Asia; in fact, of the 11 nations ranked ‘very high’ in the Human Development Index and still practicing the death penalty, 9 are present in Asia. While some of these countries practice death penalties because it is part of tradition and they are steeped in tradition such as Japan, other countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan have kept the practice in place because of religious inclinations.
In the United States, executions are at an all time low, especially when compared to 1999, where 98 executions took place. While the federal government still has the death penalty, many states have sought to abolish it. As of 2020, only 28 states still have the death penalty, of which seven still practiced 22 executions in 2019, figures we obtained courtesy of the Death Penalty Information Center. If you want to learn about the 10 states with the lowest murder rates and no death penalty, you can head on over here, but keep reading to find out the states which carried out executions in 2019:
Missouri carried out a grand total of one execution in 2019, where 51 year old Russel Bucklew was executed via lethal injection. Bucklew was convicted of first degree murder, kidnapping and first degree burglary back in 1997. It took 12 years from conviction to execution which many would consider cruel and inhumane punishment on its own.