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Quick facts about the death penalty:
How many states have the death penalty? 31
What were the most recent states to end the death penalty? Nebraska (2015), Maryland (2013), Connecticut (2012), Illinois (2011), New Mexico (2009), New Jersey (2007)
Which other states considered repeal legislation this year? See our legislative tracking
How many people have been sentenced to death and later exonerated in the modern era? 154
How many organizations have called for a moratorium on executions? 4,837 - See the list
What were the major repeal developments in the last few years?
- On May 27, 2015, Nebraska legislators voted to override the Governor's veto of death penalty repeal, making it the first conservative state to end the death penalty in over 40 years.
- On May 2, 2013, Maryland became the sixth state in six years to repeal the death penalty. The state tinkered with the death penalty for over ten years in attempts to make it work before finally concluding it could not be done.
- On April 25, 2012, Connecticut repealed the death penalty. A coalition of nearly 200 family members of murder victims led the campaign for repeal.
- On November 22, 2011, Oregon’s Governor suspended all executions, calling the death penalty “an expensive and unworkable system that fails to meet basic standards of justice.”
- In September 2011, the Ohio Supreme Court established a commission to study the flaws in the death penalty and recommend changes.
- On March 9, 2011 Illinois became the 16th state to repeal the death penalty. Governor Quinn signed the bill, which also reallocates the funds currently wasted on the death penalty to provide services to victims' families and training for law enforcement.
- Legislation to repeal the death penalty passed the Delaware Senate, Colorado House of Representatives, the Montana Senate, the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and came within one vote in the Kansas Senate in the last few years.
- Death sentences and executions continue to decline, reaching their lowest levels in decades.