executions in the world:

In 2020


2000 to present



  • Abolitionist
  • retentionist
  • De facto abolitionist
  • Moratorium on executions
  • Abolitionist for ordinary crimes
  • Committed to abolishing the death penalty


government: democratic republic
state of civil and political rights: Free
constitution: 7 November 1949
legal system: based on Spanish law
legislative system: unicameral Legislative Assembly (Asamblea Legislativa)
judicial system: Supreme Court, justices are elected for eight-year terms by the Legislative Assembly
religion: Catholic majority
death row:
year of last executions: 0-0-0
death sentences: 0
executions: 0
international treaties on human rights and the death penalty:

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

1st Optional Protocol to the Covenant

Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (aiming to the abolition of the death penalty)

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

American Convention on Human Rights

Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to abolish the Death Penalty

Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture

Statute of the International Criminal Court (which excludes the death penalty)

Costa Rica has been abolitionist since 1887. It was among the first countries to abolish the death penalty, after Venezuela (1863) and San Marino (1865).
The Constitution of the Republic of Costa Rica states at Art. 21: "Human life is inviolable." Art. 21 is included under Title IV "Individual Rights and Guarantees." In matter of extradition from Costa Rica, assurances must be secured from the requesting country that the individual will not be subject to either capital punishment or life imprisonment.
On December 17, 2018, Costa Rica co-sponsored and voted again in favour of the Resolution on a Moratorium on the Use of the Death Penalty at the UN General Assembly.


South America