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April 26, 2005

More evidence of the decline of death

Thanks to TalkLeft's post here, I see that the AP is reporting that the NAACP's Legal Defense Fund has determined that the "number of people sentenced to death last year fell to the lowest level since the Supreme Court reinstated the penalty in 1976."  Though there were still 125 death sentences handed out last year, that number is "down from 144 the previous year and [marks] the sixth consecutive annual decline."

The AP article has quotes from different folks suggesting various explanations, and there is probably a grain of truth to all the speculations.  (Recall also that, as detailed here, the Death Penalty Information Center's 2004 year-end report documented and gave explanation for drops in death sentences, executions, death row population, and public support for capital punishment last year.)

In a number of prior posts, some of which are linked below, I have documented recent declines in the use of the death penalty in the United States:

April 26, 2005 at 12:53 AM | Permalink

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