Children Should Not Be Executed

Last year’s record on the death penalty was recently released. Executions went down worldwide from 2013 to 2014, in a sign that support continued to build around the world against capital punishment, while the few countries that continue to give the death penalty handed down more such sentences. But last year we saw a rise in the use of the death penalty for crimes committed by children, and one country, Iran, is responsible for that increase. International law outlaws the death penalty for crimes committed under the age of 18. Iran is the world leader in executing juvenile offenders, putting to death 14 in 2014 and as many as 77 in the past 10 years. Iran also continued to impose new death sentences on child offenders last year. In total, at least 160 juvenile offenders are awaiting execution in the country. But they are not alone in this as there are more countries who do this, such as Pakistan, Yemen, Vietnam, Libya and Iraq. Something needs to be done!

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