Lindsay Sandiford death sentence: Which countries still use capital punishment?

Chris Parsons
Data shows which nations still use capital punishment (Amnesty)

The sentencing to death of British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford has bought the issue of capital punishment to the forefront once again.

Sandiford, 56, originally from Redcar, Teesside, was dramatically sentenced to death in Bali, Indonesia, for violating the country's strict drug laws.

She was arrested in May 2012 at Bali airport when customs officers found 3.8kg of cocaine worth £1.6m in her luggage.

If carried out, her sentence will see Sandiford led to a jungle clearing, where she will be blindfolded, tied to a pole and executed by firing squad.

Human rights organisation Amnesty International branded the sentence 'cruel in the extreme', particularly as the prosecution hadn't even asked for the death penalty.

The charity have collected data showing that 20 countries worldwide carried out executions in 2011, with the number of known killings standing at 676.

The data was impeded by nations like China, who refuse to submit details of their use of capital punishment, but were thought to have used it on thousands last year alone.

In Europe, Belarus is the only country which hasn't abolished the death penalty for all crimes, having carried out two executions in 2011.

The USA was the only nation in the G8 to impose the death penalty, while three people were executed in Iran for crimes committed when they were under 18.

Amnesty International UK Campaigns Director Tim Hancock said: "It is extremely sad to hear that judges have decided to give Lindsay Sandiford a death sentence – despite the fact that the prosecution weren’t even asking for it.

"She is the second British citizen sentenced to death for drug offences in the last six months – an extremely worrying trend.

"The death penalty is the ultimate inhuman punishment, and Amnesty never condones its use, but handing out a penalty of death by firing squad for a non-lethal crime, is cruel in the extreme.

"Amnesty opposes the death penalty in all cases and urges the Indonesian government to scrap this punishment from its books and impose an official moratorium on all executions so that no other individuals face the death penalty there."