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The practice of capital punishment within the United States now provokes concern and condemnation in many parts of the world. The United States and Japan are the only developed countries to retain this barbaric sanction. Capital punishment has fallen into disuse as a part of criminal law in virtually all of Europe, most of Latin America and much of Africa. It is excluded by the ad hoc international tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, as well as by the newly-created International Criminal Court. According to statistics published by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, approximately two-thirds of the world's countries have abolished the death penalty. Nearly seventy have confirmed this important development by subscribing to international legal instruments that outlaw capital punishment and prevent its reintroduction.

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