Capital punishment

In this Aug. 28, 2020, file photo, a no-trespassing sign is displayed outside the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind. As Donald Trump’s presidency winds down, his administration is throttling up the pace of federal executions despite a surge of CO

Executions under Trump administration buck global trend away from death penalty

Human rights

“There is no doubt that the US is an outlier when it comes to its use of capital punishment,” says Delphine Lourtau, executive director of the Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide.

An old, wooden guillotine shows sharp blade.

Why the guillotine may be less cruel than execution by slow poisoning

Iwao Hakamada sit I with a window behind him

Free after five decades on death row, a Japanese man may be forced to return


Vatican changes catechism, says death penalty is inadmissible

Seyyed Alireza Avaei, Iran's minister of justice

Iran says recent judicial reforms should decrease its number of executions

Jacques Fesch was arrested in Paris on February 25, 1954 after having committed a hold-up at a currency exchange stand. While fleeing the scene, he killed a policeman and wounded three persons.

Jacques Fesch killed a cop in the 1950s. Here’s why the French Catholic Church wants to make him a saint.


Gerard Fesch was 40 when he learned his father, Jacques Fesch, had been executed for murder in France.

A Pakistani executioner and his job

An interview with an executioner: ‘I don’t feel anything’


It’s not an interview a journalist gets to do every day — with an executioner. The BBC’s Shaimaa Khalil got that chance when she sat down with Sabir Massih, 32, who’s hanged nearly 50 people since Pakistan reinstated the death penalty. He tells Khalil what goes through his mind when he pulls the lever.

Iran's leaders

Even with the Iran nuclear deal, the country still has an alarming record on human rights


The nuclear deal is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Iran. Amnesty International reports that Iran’s execution tally is alarmingly high — and at this rate, this year’s death count may reach 1000.

The death chamber at the state penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas is seen through steel bars from the viewing room.

Prisons enter a sketchy world to obtain drugs to kill death row inmates


Lethal injections don’t happen without specific drugs, but when a favorite drug of the prison system became harder to get, prisons went looking abroad and found the product through sketchy dealers and by lying to drug companies.

President Barack Obama talks to Cardinal Sean O'Malley during an interfaith memorial service for Boston Marathon bombing victims at Boston's Cathedral of the Holy Cross on April 18, 2013.

Does God want Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to get the death penalty?


People of faith have looked to scripture and religious tradition to argue against putting the admitted Boston Marathon bomber on death row. But capital punishment, even for those guilty of murder, is a complex and divisive issue for all three major monotheistic religions.