The Death Penalty is Dying in the U. S.


   For a dozen facts about this use the DOOR.




   (1)  The number of death sentences has dropped from a high of 315 in 1996 to 73 in 2014.

   (2)  The number of (actual) executions peaked at 98 in 1999 and dropped to 35 in 2014.

   (3)  The number of prisoners on death row peaked at 35,93 in 2000 and now hovers around 3000, a 17% decline.

   (4)  The average time on death row before execution has risen (1984-2013 ?) from 6 to 16 years.

   (5)  The cost of all this is pretty expensive.

   (6)  Not all states allow the death penalty. [some generalities]

(a)  Includes all New England states except N.H. + N.Y., N.J., Md., N.D, Minn., Wis., Mich., N.M., W. V.a., Alaska, Hawaii

(b)  All southern states and western states + Pa., N.H., Del., Ind., Ohio, Ky., and D.C. do, however, allow the death penalty.

(c)  Wash., Ore., Colo., and Pa., however, are death-penalty states with a present Governor-imposed death-penalty moratorium.

   (7)  No state, however, is death-penalty free. The Federal government has death penalty privilege in any state.   [Hence the Boston Bomber, convicted of a Federal offense could be executed.

   (8)  There are ways that can now be used for execution: lethal injection, electrocution, hanging, gas chamber, and firing squad. All have “stories” of difficulties in using; hence according to some they are “cruel and unusual punishment,” causing suffering for the receiver.

   (9)  Some have said the guillotine, long banned, is the most reliable way and causes the least suffering and fewest mishaps.

   (10)  Some would say “life without parole in a small cell” is cruel and unusual. It has not been judged so by the U. S. Supreme Court. Not yet.

   (11)   And what about the Bible? Jesus was put to death by crucifixion (hardly a quick execution). The book of Acts declares that the first Church deacon Stephen was stoned to death (not listed above); and according to legend, the Apostle Paul was beheaded (not listed above) in Rome.

   (12)  And today, ISIS beheads whoever they want to.


      [Numbers 1 - 6 above come from USA-Today (via the Binghamton Press-Bulletin, Sept. 14, 2015). Number 5, however, is a generalization drawn from the data. Other info comes from a wild ride on the Internet.]