By every measure, the death penalty declined again in 2015. A new report released today by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) found:
- There were fewer executions in 2015 than any year in the last two decades.
- The number of death sentences in 2015 is down 33% from just last year, and down 84% from its 1996 peak.
- Opposition to the death penalty is at its highest rate since before the U.S. Supreme Court suspended the death penalty in the 70’s, according to recent polls.
- For the first time in 20 years, there are fewer than 3,000 people on the U.S.’s death rows.
- In 2015, Nebraska repealed the death penalty, and Pennsylvania’s governor announced he will not allow an execution during his tenure. That means more than half the states have either ended the death penalty, formally suspended it, or haven’t executed or sentenced anyone to death in over a decade.
- In addition to these incredible trends, DPIC’s report found that executions took place in only 6 states – the same 6 states that have accounted for over 70% of all executions in the modern era. The death penalty is increasingly geographically isolated.
Many of those who were executed showed signs of intellectual disability or serious mental illness, making them almost indistinguishable from cases in which the death penalty is already outlawed.
Check out the full report, and help spread the word about the death penalty’s demise.
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We are excited to usher in 2016 with this news and ready to see a complete end to the death penalty in the near future!
Thanks for all you do to help make that a reality!