Indian courts handed down at least 64 death sentences last year, but no executions took place, largely as a result of court rulings, new data from Amnesty International shows. Globally, executions fell by a fifth, and two-thirds of the world has abolished the death penalty.
China continues to execute the most people globally — thousands every year, the human rights group said in a new report published early on Wednesday — but does not publish any data. Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia accounted for nearly three-quarters of the rest of the world’s executions in 2014.
In India, which saw the execution of Ajmal Kasab in late 2012 and Afzal Guru in early 2013 after a gap of eight years, several executions scheduled for 2014 were put on hold.
In January, a landmark Supreme Court ruling laid down guidelines for death sentences, including classifying delay in the disposal of mercy petitions as grounds for commutation, as also mental disability.