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isten in English

Death Penalty

Published: 4.15.2018
Level 4   |   Time: 2:03
Accent: British
Al Jazeera (4.12.2018)

Amnesty International says 2017 saw a significant drop in the number of death sentences issued around the world.


triangle Directions

  1. REVIEW the vocabulary / background.
  2. WATCH the video.
  3. ANSWER the questions.
  4. CHECK your answers. (Show Answers)

triangle Vocabulary

  • Amnesty International [n] - Human Rights Group
  • a global picture [n] - world situation
  • an execution [n] - government killing criminal
  • a death sentence [n] - punishment of death (in the future)
  • marked [adj] - significant (a lot)
  • a caveat [n] - one contrary thing
  • figures [n] - statistics
  • carry (something) out [phv] - do (something)
  • a global figure [n] - world statistic
  • rely on [phv] - depend on
  • a confession [n] - statement of guilt
  • torture [n] - beating, hurting
  • resume [v] - start doing again
  • disturbing [v] - very upsetting
  • offenses [n] - crimes
  • contrary to [adj] - against
  • obligations [n] - something one must do
  • a standard [n] - goal or requirement
  • reform [v] - positively change
  • align x with y [exp] - make x and y match
  • a testimony [n] - evidence
  • sub-Saharan [adj] - region of Africa
  • a mixed picture [n] - good and bad
  • a campaign [n] - advertising, awareness effort
  • abolished [adj] - ended

triangle Questions

  1. According to Amnesty International, how are death penalty statistics changing?
    staying the same

  2. Which statements are true? (Check all that apply)
    There were 900,093 executions last year
    2016 had 4% LESS executions than 2017
    2015 had 39% MORE executions than 2017
    International Execution numbers do not include China

  3. How many EXECUTIONS took place last year globally?
    More than 500, less than 1000

  4. What practice is against international law?
    Execution for drug crimes
    Drug trafficking
    Drug use
    Disturbing drug users

  5. Which country executes the most people?
    Saudi Arabia

  6. How has the death penalty situation changed in the Middle East?
    Countries have stopped using it.
    Countries have started using it.
    Countries are resuming using it again.
    Countries have never used it.

  7. What obligation do Malaysia, Iran, Singapore, and Indonesia have?
    to use the death penalty fairly
    to follow international human rights standards
    to reform their political system

  8. Which statements are true about the USA? (Check all that apply)
    It is the only country in North and South America to execute people.
    Executions are increasing.
    Executions are decreasing.
    President Trump has increased executions.

  9. What is the opinion of Amnesty International about global use?
    Some good news, some bad news, but improving.
    Some good news, some bad news, but not improving.
    Mostly good news.
    Mostly bad news.

  10. What will continue?
    Amnesty International's research
    Amnesty International's effort to reduce the death penalty
    Amnesty International's effort to stop the death penalty
    Amnesty International's funding

triangle Discussion

  1. Do you think governments should use the death penalty? Why or why not?
  2. Why do most executions take place in the Middle East? China?
  3. Why does the U.S.A. still use the death penalty?
  4. What are the advantages/disadvantages of using the death penalty?

triangle Script

Amnesty International says the global picture’s continuing to improve. Last year they counted at least 993 executions. That’s four percent fewer that in 2016 and 39 percent fewer than in 2015. And there’s been a marked drop in death sentences passed. At least 2,000 591 were recorded in 2017 a yearly fall of 17%. but there’s a major caveat these figures don’t include China. Amnesty says it’s by far the world’s biggest executioner carrying out thousands of death sentences last year but statistics are considered a state secret.

Now 84% of all recorded executions took place in just four countries: Iran Saudi Arabia Iraq and Pakistan. Iran executed at least 507 people last year more than half the recorded global figure. Amnesty says courts there often rely on confessions made under torture when passing death sentences. And several countries in the Middle East resumed executions in 2017 after years of not doing so. One continuing practice that amnesty calls disturbing is executions for drug related offenses - something that’s against international law.

“We have noticed it being used by a lot of countries: Malaysia and Iran primarily and Indonesia Singapore and all these other countries. And this is contrary to some of the obligations that this country have - the international human rights law and standards. And the fact that some of these countries actually even now taking steps to reform their own national laws to align it with international laws and regulation is a testimony to the fact that they agree with us.”

In the USA the only country in the Americas executing people the number of states carrying out executions rose from 5 to 8. And while there was progress in sub-Saharan Africa, Nigeria sentenced 621 people to death last year - more than any other country in the region. So a mixed picture. And Amnesty International says its public campaign to get the death penalty abolished will go on.