California is to resume executions after a three-year hiatus. Campaigners have responded to the proposed lethal injection regulations with a series of concerns placing a strong focus on religious and spiritual freedoms.
Amid pressure from both sides, the governor of Texas has blocked part of a bill which would have prevented the death penalty being used for a particular category of people convicted under a provision called the Law of Parties.
Worldwide vigils have been held for Troy Davis, a death row prisoner in Georgia, USA, who is believed to be innocent, and is still trying to get a court to hear evidence collected since his original trial 18 years ago, which could prove his innocence.
Amnesty International today revealed that the number of executions in 2008 rose significantly compared to the previous year, while more countries in Asia made use of the death penalty than any other region of the world.
An al-Qaeda leader in Iraq has been sentenced to death for the killing of the Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho - despite the church's opposition to the death penalty. The Iraqi government said the criminal court had imposed the death sentence on Ahmed Ali Ahmed.
The General Assembly of the Church of Scotland is set to express its outright opposition to the death penalty for the first time. It has never previously resolved to oppose capital punishment ‘unequivocally’.