In recent decades, the number of those sentenced to death has progressively declined. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there were 2,570 prisoners on death row in the United States by the end of 2019, down 29 percent from a record of 3,601 at the end of 2000. (BJS). The number of executions has also decreased over time.
Of those on death row, more than half (1,212) have been sentenced since 1990, when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that all states must apply the constitutional requirement of individualized sentencing hearings to cases involving death sentences.
Since then, 32 states have abolished the death penalty for all crimes, and another seven have done so for certain categories of crime. In the remaining two states, Delaware and Massachusetts, only defendants whose convictions and sentences are being challenged through federal proceedings may be granted stays of execution. As a result, both men have escaped the death chamber so far.
The table shows the number of people on death row, as well as the number who have been executed or have had their sentences carried out so far this year. It also includes information about each state's death penalty statute. Statutes vary widely in how they are implemented in practice, so numbers don't always reflect the full extent of each state's capital punishment system. For example, several states have laws that allow judges rather than juries to decide whether to impose the death sentence.
In 2019, 22 individuals were executed in the United States, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. There were 34 death sentences handed out. As of January 1, 2020, there were 2,620 persons on death row in the United States, according to the NAACP's Criminal Justice Project. This is a decrease from the peak of 737 in 2011.
The fact that 22 people have been executed since the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976 shows that it is by no means a sure thing. Since then, several people have been granted new trials because new evidence has emerged showing their convictions were based on false testimony or mistakes made by the prosecutor.
Even if all those sentenced to die serve their sentences without incident, nearly half (9 of 21) have had their executions stayed at some point during their proceedings. This means that 46% (9 out of 19) of all people executed since 1976 have had their deaths postponed indefinitely.
There are currently two people on death row in Virginia who were 16 years old when they committed their crimes. One of them was 14 years old at the time of his offense. The other one was 15. Both boys suffered from mental illnesses, but their crimes did not reflect these conditions. If executed, they would be the youngest people ever killed in the United States.
More than 7,800 prisoners have been condemned to death since then, with more than 1,500 killed. Since 1972, at least 185 persons who were condemned to death have been exonerated. As of December 16, 2020, there are 2,591 people on execution row. Of these, 1,533 have been sentenced to death and 858 have been acquitted or had their sentences reduced.
Death rows are considered to be the most dangerous prisons in America, with a recidivism rate of about two-thirds.
Currently, there are only 38 states that still carry out executions. Two other countries, China and India, also carry out executions. But according to the World Death Penalty Report, published by the nonprofit group Murder Accountability Project, the number of executions carried out has declined dramatically over the past 10 years. In 2004, 39 people were killed by governments worldwide; this number has now dropped to under 30. There have been no executions in China since 2006. In India, only three people were executed in 2019.
China, with an estimated 10,000 prisoners currently serving death sentences, has the highest rate of executions in the world. According to the New York Times, China executes more people than any other country.
22. 25. In 2019, executions and new death sentences remained around historic lows, the sixth straight year with less than 30 executions and fewer than 50 new death sentences. In 2019, states carried out 22 executions, the second fewest in 28 years. The last execution occurred in UTx.
States sentenced people to die between January 1, 2018, and December 31, 2019. These are the final results for the period.
The number of people sentenced to death dropped to its lowest level since 1994. There were only two cases that involved a child under 18 at the time of sentencing. Neither case resulted in an execution.
The most recent case involved a 17-year-old from Texas who participated in a shooting that left three people dead. He was sentenced to death in 2010 for his role in the crime. On May 15, 2016, the Supreme Court of Texas ruled that he be executed by lethal injection instead of hanging because it was not certain whether he would die from the hangman's noose or the electric chair. His execution was carried out on June 10, 2016.
The oldest person sentenced to death was 89 years old at the time of sentencing. He was convicted of murder and sentenced to die in Florida in 1998. The youngest person sentenced to death was 14 years old at the time of sentencing.
The death sentence is a waste of government money and serves no purpose in terms of public safety. According to the FBI, states that have the death sentence have the highest murder rates. Innocent individuals are much too frequently sentenced to death. Because of their innocence, over 156 persons have been freed from death row in 26 states since 1973.
The death penalty is inherently prejudicial because it threatens innocent people with execution. It is also expensive to execute someone. The cost of executing one person in the United States is $10 million dollars. This does not include the cost of incarceration prior to execution or the cost of crime in general which the execution would likely reduce.
The death penalty is immoral because it causes pain and suffering to those who did not cause the death of another human being. It also violates God's commandment against killing. Finally, the death penalty is ineffective at preventing murders since it will not stop someone who wants to kill another person from doing so.
The death penalty is unconstitutional because it violates the Eighth Amendment's prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. It also violates the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of due process and the First Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech and the press.
The death penalty is inhumane because it destroys life when there is no hope of recovery. It also violates the dignity of human beings by treating them as less than humans.