Does the US execute more criminals than North Korea and Afghanistan?

Amnesty International (AI) published a survey at the beginning of April about the number of executions which occurred worldwide in 2012. It flatly stated that the "United States executes more people than North Korea and Afghanistan."This is an extremely deceptive statement. Whether it's deliberately deceptive I can't definitely say.

For a start, the survey is exclusively about government or state executions. That changes everything. For example, take Pakistan and Afghanistan, who both "score" less than the United States in the survey. Afghanistan hardly has a central state; vast swathes of the country are more or less ruled by warlords or by tribal chiefs. The case is similar in Pakistan; but less so. There are vast parts of Pakistan where the state has virtually no input. In Pakistan, apart from the state being in charge of defence and war; there is very little else it does (especially in rural areas and in the in very large "villages" of Pakistan). In fact, even in the major cities, such as Karachi, the state hardly has much of an impact (hence the massive rates of crime - including murder).

Now if we factor in those facts with the additional fact that some of the countries featured in the Amnesty International survey are also Islamic/Muslim countries, which are largely run according to sharia law, then there are some interesting consequences.

In Pakistan, for example, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of executions every year. It's just that they're not carried out by the state. They are carried out on a tribal village basis according to the rulings of clerics/imams or religious leaders. That means that the state has no input into these executions or sharia killings whatsoever. And that's why Pakistan scores so low in the Amnesty International survey. There are hundreds of executions which aren't carried out by the Pakistani state.

In terms of Afghanistan, if we realize that there is hardly a state at all in vast parts of the country, as well as these parts being run according to sharia law, then no wonder it scores so low (14) in this survey. All the executions occur regardless of the state or government's involvement.

There is a lot of information on the Internet showing that there are thousands of non-state executions in the Muslim world each year. For example, there were 20,000 "honour killings" in a handful of Muslim countries in one single year. In Pakistan specifically, there were 4,000 in only six years. In addition, there is death for apostasy, adultery, acts of homosexuality and for other sharia-crimes. Added together to Pakistan's score alone, its executions probably add up to more than the entire state-executions of Amnesty International's survey.

So unless Amnesty International specifically states that it only deals with state executions, which I don't think it does, then it's hard to see why it has ignored all these non-state executions. Does AI deem state-executions to be worse than non-state-executions? And if it does, why does it do so?

 

*) In addition, the United States has a population of over 250 million, and China has a billion inhabitants. Pakistan has around 150 million and many of the states in your survey have a population of less than 10 million. Surely population numbers are relevant to your survey too.

 

Paul Austin Murphy
England
Amnesty International (AI) published a survey at the beginning of April about the number of executions which occurred worldwide in 2012. It flatly stated that the "United States executes more people than North Korea and Afghanistan."This is an extremely deceptive statement. Whether it's deliberately deceptive I can't definitely say.

For a start, the survey is exclusively about government or state executions. That changes everything. For example, take Pakistan and Afghanistan, who both "score" less than the United States in the survey. Afghanistan hardly has a central state; vast swathes of the country are more or less ruled by warlords or by tribal chiefs. The case is similar in Pakistan; but less so. There are vast parts of Pakistan where the state has virtually no input. In Pakistan, apart from the state being in charge of defence and war; there is very little else it does (especially in rural areas and in the in very large "villages" of Pakistan). In fact, even in the major cities, such as Karachi, the state hardly has much of an impact (hence the massive rates of crime - including murder).

Now if we factor in those facts with the additional fact that some of the countries featured in the Amnesty International survey are also Islamic/Muslim countries, which are largely run according to sharia law, then there are some interesting consequences.

In Pakistan, for example, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of executions every year. It's just that they're not carried out by the state. They are carried out on a tribal village basis according to the rulings of clerics/imams or religious leaders. That means that the state has no input into these executions or sharia killings whatsoever. And that's why Pakistan scores so low in the Amnesty International survey. There are hundreds of executions which aren't carried out by the Pakistani state.

In terms of Afghanistan, if we realize that there is hardly a state at all in vast parts of the country, as well as these parts being run according to sharia law, then no wonder it scores so low (14) in this survey. All the executions occur regardless of the state or government's involvement.

There is a lot of information on the Internet showing that there are thousands of non-state executions in the Muslim world each year. For example, there were 20,000 "honour killings" in a handful of Muslim countries in one single year. In Pakistan specifically, there were 4,000 in only six years. In addition, there is death for apostasy, adultery, acts of homosexuality and for other sharia-crimes. Added together to Pakistan's score alone, its executions probably add up to more than the entire state-executions of Amnesty International's survey.

So unless Amnesty International specifically states that it only deals with state executions, which I don't think it does, then it's hard to see why it has ignored all these non-state executions. Does AI deem state-executions to be worse than non-state-executions? And if it does, why does it do so?

 

*) In addition, the United States has a population of over 250 million, and China has a billion inhabitants. Pakistan has around 150 million and many of the states in your survey have a population of less than 10 million. Surely population numbers are relevant to your survey too.

 

Paul Austin Murphy
England

RECENT VIDEOS