In the Western world, the U.S. is one of only one of two countries with capital punishment, and support remains strongest in the 'Bible Belt'. Here's a look at the historic arguments within Christian communities over the death penalty.
Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy administers the judicial oath to Justice Neil Gorsuch.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Trump's promise to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court could mean the fate of the death penalty rests in the court of public opinion.
A wall of Myuran Sukumaran’s self portraits at the Sydney Festival exhibition Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise.
Most people who see Myuran Sukumaran: Another Day in Paradise, opening today as part of the Sydney Festival, will already have a strong opinion on the artist and his death – but a few may have their minds changed.
Shahram Amiri in 2010 after returning to Iran from the US.
Vahid Salemi / AP/Press Association Images
Shahram Amiri is one of 250 people executed this year despite President Rouhani's efforts to improve his country's human right's record.
Indonesia is in the midst of another round of executions.
Advocacy efforts are easier to dismiss when they are seen to reflect vested interests more than principled foundations.
Capital punishment is unfairly imposed, innocent people are regularly condemned and it is patently ineffective in deterring crime. So why to states retain the death penalty?
Demonstration against the death penalty in Paris.
World Coalition Against the Death Penalty
Not only does capital punishment not deter crime but it's more expensive than keeping a convicted murderer in prison for life.
Time for a jolly singalong.
Wellcome Library, London
People found out about crime and punishment in that most spectacular era of public executions, the Renaissance, through melody.
Too many innocent people ended up here: the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas.
The US Supreme Court is bitterly divided over the death penalty. One reason for that is all the convictions based on coerced confessions
The legislature has spoken, but is the governor listening?
Abolition has become a political football – and many politicians see the advantage of supporting it.
Juan Melendez – one of 150 innocent people who have been released from death row.
Witness to Innocence
More than 150 people have been released from death rows around the US after having their wrongful convictions overturned. Most continue to face social stigma and unemployment.
Former Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi waves at his trial with other Muslim Brotherhood members in Cairo, in May. He was subsequently sentenced to death. Egypt is among a handful of African countries that regularly execute.
Reuters/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
As with most aspects of criminal justice in sub-Saharan Africa, the death penalty as it currently exists in law is a colonial import. Criminal justice before the modern era was a private matter.
Executions are rare in India, but debate over the death penalty is intense.
Why do so many people support capital punishment?
Indians protest against the execution of Jakub Memon.
India has only hanged four criminals since 2003. But given the state is founded on principles of non-violence, it's surprising they executed any of them.
What are the arguments for and against the death penalty and do they stand up to examination?
SCOTUS effectively continued the practice of lethal injection with its ruling. But is lethal injection really as humane as we think?
Feelings are running high in Australia.
Whatever you think of capital punishment, if your police force helps convict people of capital crimes, you are complicit to some degree.
Indonesians are sensitive about issues of respect for their nation and its sovereignty, as protests at Tony Abbott’s linking of aid with calls for clemency showed.
Indonesians have long felt that Australia lacks respect for their nation's sovereignty, but Indonesia's status as a rising power adds to the urgency of recalibrating our approach to the relationship.
The relationship with Indonesia is more important than the protest over two dead drug traffickers and Australians need their ambassador in Jakarta.
Australians are the ones who suffer when consular support is weakened overseas.
Julie Bishop and Tony Abbott are firm advocates of human rights when Australians are executed but not when asylum seekers are involved.
In condemning Indonesia's execution of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Australia has relied on the same human rights obligations that it rejects when applied to asylum seekers.