Walking Dead: Capital Punishment

Amnesty International has recently released their latest report on executions and sentences around the world during 2010 (pdf) stating that ” it is clear that countries using the death penalty are now increasingly isolated” (see also here, the underlying data has also been added to the Guardian Datastore).
The following two maps show a worldmapper-style view of the state of death penalty using figures from the time of 2007 to 2010 out of the above mentioned sources. There are two pictures that can be drawn from the data: The first map shows the countries of the world resized according to the total death penalty sentences recorded there in that time period (the map inset shows the state of death penalty around the world on a conventional map). The second map visualises the actually executed death penalties from 2007-2010 by resizing the countries accordingly (the map inset here shows a world population cartogram that allows a comparison of the main map with the actual population distribution).
In both maps the figures for China are uncertain and estimated to be in the thousands. China has been set to 1000 in both maps and may thus appear much smaller than it actually is related to this topic.
The two maps with their very distorted shape of the world show how divided the world is in this topic. Very few countries dominate the map while the majority of countries disappear completely. Europe and South America are literally eradicated, and when looking at the actually executed death penalties in the second map, even more countries vanish:

Cartogram / Map of the Death Penalty Prosecutions worldwide 2007-2010
(click for larger map)
Cartogram / Map of the Death Penalty Executions worldwide 2007-2010
(click for larger map)


Amnesty International’s 2011 report summarises the 2010 figures as follows (see page 5):

At least 23 countries were known to have carried out judicial executions in 2010. This is four more than 2009, when Amnesty International recorded the lowest number of executing countries since the organisation began monitoring death penalty figures.
There were no reported executions in Afghanistan, Indonesia, Mongolia, Pakistan, Saint Kitts and Nevis and United Arab Emirates, although these countries were known to have carried out executions up to 2008 or 2009. However, after a hiatus, Bahrain, Belarus, Equatorial Guinea, the Palestinian Authority, Somalia and Taiwan all carried out at least one execution in 2010.
At least 527 executions were carried out in 2010. This figure does not include the thousands of executions that were believed to be carried out in China last year. Last year Amnesty International decided not to publish minimum figures for the use of the death penalty in China, where such statistics are considered to be state secrets. Instead Amnesty International has challenged the Chinese authorities to publish figures for the number of people sentenced to death and executed each year to confirm their claims that there has been a reduction in the use of the death penalty in the country.
At least 17,833 were under sentence of death worldwide at the end of 2010, which is a minimum from the addition of the partial figures available.

These are at least 17,833 too many. Time for a change
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