Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 194 UN member states and observers, 96 still have the death penalty on their books - though fewer than half of them apply it in practice. Today is the day we work to change that.
This year's focus is on the progress made in the last decade - and its pretty dramatic. Ten years ago, 31 countries sentenced people to death. Today, its 21. Ten years ago there were only 80 countries which had banned the death penalty entirely. Today its 98. Even in the pro-death penalty US, four more states have abolished it. The progress is slow, but it is steady, and in the right direction.