The Meaning of Lower Death Penalty Stats
Time Magazine reports on declining death penalty numbers, saying a shift has developed against capital punishment.
Last year saw just 37 executions in the U.S., with only 111 death sentences handed down. Although 36 states and the Federal Government still have death penalty laws on the books, the practice of carrying out executions is limited almost entirely to the South, where all but two of last year's executions took place. (The exceptions were both in Ohio.)
Law Prof Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy isn't as positive about the meaning of the decline:
The last few weeks of January 2009 brought seven executions (five of which were in Texas), the most in any concentrated period since June 2007. In addition, there are two executions scheduled for tomorrow (one in Tennessee and one in Texas). Also, Virginia's legislature recently voted to expand that state's death penalty law.
Death penalty opponents do see a shift. Time notes: [More..]
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