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Death Penalty Use Declines in 2015


This week, the Death Penalty Information Center released "The Death Penalty in 2015: Year End Report."  The report indicates that in 2015 the U.S. had the lowest number of executions since 1991.  Over the last year, there were 28 executions in just 6 states, including Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma, and Virginia.  Other indicators in the report signal the decline in the use of the death penalty.  For instance, 49 new death sentences were imposed in 2015, which is the lowest number since the early 1970s when the death penalty was ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.  The report also indicates that 6 death row inmates were exonerated in 2015, which brings the total to 153 since 1973.  In addition, 70 inmates with execution dates in 2015 received stays, reprieves, or commutations.

To read the full-text of the report, see the report’s website.  For more information about the death penalty, check the Death Penalty Information Center’s website. 

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