Amnesty International released a list of the countries that conducted the most executions for 2008. Overall, 2,390 people were put to death in the world last year (up from 1,252 in 2007), and, overwhelmingly, China committed the majority of these executions with 1,718 people, or 72 percent of the total.
The United States accounted for 37 executions, beating out Pakistan (36) and Iraq (34). The U.S. remained the 4th leading country for executions despite experiencing a 14-year low last year. Since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of the death penalty in 1976, Texas has conducted the most executions, 435, and last year it executed 18 people. So far in 2009, Texas has sent 12 prisoners to death.