The year began with the execution of Corey Johnson, who was executed by the federal government on January 14, 2021, without judicial review of his strong signs of intellectual disability. This is the second mentally disabled person executed in the federal government`s 2020-2021 series of executions, following the execution of Alfred Bourgeois on 11 December 2020. Although the Second Protocol to the ICCPR is the only global instrument calling for the abolition of the death penalty, there are three such instruments with a regional focus. The Sixth Additional Protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), adopted by the Council of Europe in 1982 and ratified by eighteen States in mid-1995, provides for the abolition of the death penalty in peacetime. In 2002, the Council adopted the Thirteenth Additional Protocol to the ECHR, which provides for the abolition of the death penalty in all circumstances, including in time of war or imminent threat of war. In 1990, the Organization of American States adopted the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights on the Abolition of the Death Penalty, which provides for its total abolition but reserves the right to apply the death penalty in time of war.  At the district level, five U.S. counties (Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, and Bexar in Texas and Oklahoma County, Oklahoma) have accounted for 20 percent of all executions in the United States since 1976. Oklahoma County, one of only two U.S.
counties to have handed down more than one death sentence in 2021, carried out more executions than any other county outside Texas. With 42 executions, it carried out more than twice as many executions as the next Upper District (St. Louis County, Missouri, with 19). In 2018, calls for the return of the death penalty multiplied. 20. On 8 August, the National Freedom Party (FIP) called for the reintroduction of the death penalty in South Africa, and on 8 August, the National Freedom Party called for the reintroduction of the death penalty in South Africa following the death of Khensani Maseko, similar to the IFP a few weeks earlier.  With the abolition of Virginia, a majority of US states have now abolished the death penalty (23) or a formal moratorium on its use (3). Ten other States have not carried out an execution for at least ten years. The few jurisdictions that have planned or carried out executions and imposed new death sentences have pursued the death penalty in flagrant disregard of due process guarantees, judicial review of methods of execution, or potentially well-founded claims of intellectual disability, incompetence and innocence. Oklahoma botched the execution of John Grant and later denied that the execution had been problematic. Arizona authorized executions with the same lethal gas the Nazis used to murder more than a million people in their World War II death camps. South Carolina has adopted the electric chair as the standard method of execution, with the firing squad being a “humane” alternative.
Convictions and executions involved disproportionate numbers of victims, both white and female. Once again, only black defendants were executed for racial murder, and no white defendant was sentenced to death in a trial that did not involve at least one white victim. Three high-profile cases – each involving probably innocent black men sentenced to death for killing white victims – symbolized the persistent racial injustice of the death penalty in the country. Julius Jones and Pervis Payne escaped execution, but were resentenced to life in prison. A Texas county judge with a history of lynchings heard ample evidence of Rodney Reed`s innocence and then wrote testimony from a disgraced white police officer who was the likely killer of nearly a dozen other witnesses to recommend that Reed be denied a new trial. But in the four years since the Furman decision, several hundred people have been sentenced to death under the state`s new death penalty laws, written to guide jurors in sentencing. These laws prescribe a two-stage trial in which the jury first determines guilt or innocence and then decides on imprisonment or death in light of aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Opinion polls and a historical index of death penalty polls found that support for the death penalty in the United States was at its lowest in half a century. Although major pollsters differed on the most appropriate polling method for measuring views on the death penalty, they agreed that the results of their survey reflect a continuing erosion of public support for the death penalty.