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Amnesty: US Ranks 5th On Global Execution Scale

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NEW YORK (AP) – Amnesty International says the United States is the only Western democracy that executed prisoners last year, even as more U.S. states are moving to abolish the death penalty.

In its annual review of worldwide death penalty trends released Monday, Amnesty says the 43 U.S. executions in 2011 ranked it fifth globally but was down from 46 a year earlier.

The United States seems deeply divided on the issue.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry was cheered at a Republican presidential candidates’ debate last September when he defended his signature on 234 execution warrants over more than 10 years as being the “ultimate justice.”

Just weeks later, young people rallied in person and online to protest the execution of Troy Davis in Georgia for the 1991 murder of a police officer.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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