In its annual report on the use of the death penalty, the human rights group Amnesty International said some 714 people were known to have been executed in 18 countries in 2009.
The four countries Amnesty is most concerned about include China, for which no figures are available, but it is believed hundreds, maybe thousands, of people are put to death every year - as well as Iran, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
Billy Neal Moore spent 16 years on death row in the US state of Georgia, before receiving a pardon.
He was reprieved on one occasion just seven hours before he was due to go to the electric chair.
So, what is it like to live on death row?
First broadcast 30 March 2010
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