Here are some other takeaways from the annual report from the Death Penalty Information Center:
- As of December 15, 14 states and the federal government imposed 49 new death sentences this year, the fewest since the early 1970s when the U.S. Supreme Court halted the death penalty.
- More than one-quarter of the death sentences were imposed by Florida and Alabama where non-unanimous juries recommended death. Texas imposed two new death sentences this year.
- Nearly two-thirds of all new death sentences this year came from the same 2 percent of counties responsible for more than half of all death-sentenced inmates nationwide.
- Six states conducted executions this year, the fewest in 27 years. The overwhelming proportion—86 percent—of executions took place in three states: Texas (13), Missouri (6), and Georgia (5).
- This year’s results show a continued decline in death sentences over the past 15 years.
“The use of the death penalty is becoming increasingly rare and increasingly isolated in the United States,” Robert Dunham, the executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, who wrote the report. “These are not just annual blips in statistics, but reflect a broad change in attitudes about capital punishment across the country.”