The United States, a nation long held as the standard-bearer for human rights and democracy, underwent a concerning shift in 2022. The number of executions within its borders rose by 64%, from 11 in 2021 to 18 in 2022, according to an Amnesty International report. This alarming trend positions the U.S. uncomfortably close to countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China — nations often excoriated for dismal human rights records.

U.S. Amid Global Execution Surge

Amnesty International paints a grim picture of global executions in 2022. The tally reached 883 across 20 countries, marking a significant 53% surge from 579 in 2021, the highest rise witnessed in five years. Amid this upward trend, the United States stands out in its region, disturbingly so. It has the dubious distinction of being the only country in the Americas to have carried out executions — a pattern that has persisted for 14 consecutive years.

Source: Amnesty International

Despite its 18 executions in 2022, the U.S.'s numbers are dwarfed by the staggering figures reported in China, Iran and Saudi Arabia. With China's exact figure shrouded in state secrecy, Iran takes the lead with no less than 576 executions, followed by Saudi Arabia with 196 — the highest yearly total for the latter in 30 years. These figures inevitably lead to a pressing question: Why does the United States, a stalwart defender of democracy, find itself on the same list as countries frequently criticized for their disregard for human rights?

The Method And The Crime

The global landscape of executions in 2022 was marked by chilling methods including beheading, hanging, lethal injection and shooting. In the U.S., lethal injection remains the method of choice. However, a crucial divergence lies in the …

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