15 Heads Of States Who Were Sentenced To Death

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15 Heads Of States Who Were Sentenced To Death

Leadership is a great honor and everyone who has ever held a position, regardless of how small, knows that it is a huge responsibility. In the past, kings and queens used to have all the power, and the advantage that these royal families had over the present systems of governments is that they would rule for life.


The presidents and the prime ministers we have today have to work hard to get the opportunity to lead their nations, power that can be taken away from them by the people who elected them to office. The problem with many of the leaders we have today is that, as soon as they rise to power, they forget that they have a responsibility to the people, and instead focus on making themselves rich and even more powerful.

Some leaders start so well, but when they face the slightest challenges, they turn and become brutal dictators, who do everything in their power to crush any form of opposition and look for ways to remain in office indefinitely. Such leaders forget that a time will come when they will face the consequences of their actions, because every deed, whether good or bad, has its reward.

Although we do have some good leaders out there that do their best to improve the lives of their people, the others need to look back at what nations do to leaders who thought they could get away with anything.

Here is a list of the heads of state who were sentenced to death immediately after they were removed from power. At least one is still alive, others were pardoned, but the majority faced the executioners, even on the same day of their trials. Which of these do you think did not deserve such a harsh sentence?

15. Chun Doo-hwan – South Korea

Chun Doo-hwan is probably the only president who has ever been sentenced to death but is still alive even today. Chun was the fifth president of South Korea, ruling from 1980 to 1988, despite also serving as the country’s leader from December 1979, a period that he served as an unelected leader.

After his predecessor, Choi Kyu-hah announced his decision to resign from being president, 2,525 Electoral College voters met in Jang Choong Gymnasium and voted for Chun to be his successor. However, the sad thing about Chun becoming president is that he became a dictator, and his time in office is infamous for nepotism, cronyism, and the brutal suppression of democracy, where he abolished all the political parties.

The new constitution enacted during his leadership still gave him too much power, but he managed to be re-elected and rule for another term. In 1996, Chun was sentenced to death owing to his participation in the Gwangju Massacre, but Kim Young-Sam, the then-president, pardoned him.

14. Jean-Bédel Bokassa – Central African Republic

Jean-Bédel Bokassa was the second president of this country and, afterward, from 1976 to 1979, he declared himself the Emperor of Central Africa, since he was a military dictator. When the Central African Republic gained independence in 1960, President Dacko appointed Bokassa the head of the armed forces, who went ahead to oust the president and declare himself president in 1966.

Bokassa was a terrible president, reigning terror on all the citizens and taking up all the important posts in the government for himself. His self-appointment to “Emperor” was terrible for the economy in 1976, since his coronation ceremony cost the country a whooping $20 million, which would translate to $80 million today, and his diamond-encrusted crown cost $5 million at that time.

In 1979, he arrested hundreds of schoolchildren and personally oversaw the imperial guard massacring 100 of them, for refusing to purchase uniforms from one of his wife’s companies. In September 1979, with assistance from French paratroopers, Dacko regained the presidency and Bokassa was exiled to France.

Although he was absent, Bokassa was tried and sentenced to death. His return in 1986 sent him to trial for murder and treason, with his death sentence being commuted to life in solitary confinement and he was later freed in 1993.

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