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January 8, 2010

Three executions completed on January 7, 2010

I am not sure if this fact marks a record for the modern administration of the death penalty in the US, but I am sure that it is noteworthy that three different states succeeded in carrying out executions yesterday.  Here are links to stories covering each execution:

For a host of reasons, I doubt there have been any single days with four executions in four states, so I think yesterday had to at least tie a modern executions record [added: I was wrong, see below].  I also doubt there will be any days in the near future with four (or even three) executions, so January 7, 2010, likely can be remembers as a special day in the history of the US death penalty.  And yet, despite all the attention that the death penalty often gets from the media and public policy groups, I have yet to see anyone else noting yesterday's historic nature.

UPDATE:  In the comments, federalist asserts that on December 9, 1998 there were four executions in four states.  But the execution database at DPIC, which I have always assumed to be fairly accurate, records no executions on 12/09/98.  The DPIC database does report five executions in the prior week (two in Texas, two in South Carolina, and one in Virginia), and five executions in the days that follow (one in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and two in South Carolina).  Thus, while the first few weeks of December 1998 saw a total of 10 executions in four states, it does not appear according to the DPIC's database that a record for most execution in one day was set during that period.

Another UPDATE:  In the comments, federalist now clarifies that it was December 9, 1999 on which there were four executions in four states.  And, sure enough, a quick check of the execution database at DPIC, shows that Indiana, Oklahoma, Virginia and Texas all completed lethal injections that day.  Kudos to federalist for knowing this bit of trivia; I should have thought to check out the list of 1999 executions because that year, with 98 executions, set the modern US record for most executions in a single year.

January 8, 2010 at 10:35 AM | Permalink

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Three Successful Executions Yesterday: Doug Berman writes on Sentencing Law and Policy that yesterday may have "mark[ed] a record for the modern administration of the death penalty in the US" with three successful executions in three different states. ... [Read More]

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Comments

Posted by Doug Berman, Jan 8, 2010: "I am not sure if this fact marks a record for the modern administration of the death penalty in the US, but I am sure that it is noteworthy that three different states succeeded in carrying out executions yesterday."

Posted by claudio giusti, italia, Jan 5, 2010: "Death penalty is dying."

Oooooooooooooooops.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 8, 2010 10:58:20 AM

"For a host of reasons, I doubt there have been any single days with four executions in four states, so I think yesterday had to at least tie a modern executions record."

December 9, 1998. Four states, four executions.

Posted by: federalist | Jan 8, 2010 11:00:15 AM

Plus, hasn't Texas executed more than one person on the same day? I would think such practice would make three execution days more common, though not three-state days of course.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jan 8, 2010 11:19:15 AM

Perhaps not "modern," but after a brief moratorium in 1922 when Texas shifted executions from the hangings at county jails to electrocution at the state prison in Huntsville, five men were executed on the first day capital punishment was reinstated.

Post-Furman I think they've tended to do them one at a time just for the sake of the execution team at Huntsville and the last-minute judicial wrangling involved.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jan 8, 2010 11:36:23 AM

The world record is held by Darshan Singh. Hanged eighteen guys in a single day (three at a time).

Posted by: JC | Jan 8, 2010 12:11:31 PM

bravi, bravi, bravi.

Posted by: dott. claudio giusti, italia | Jan 8, 2010 12:20:31 PM

By the deterrence theory, then, we should see a noticeable drop in murders over the next month. Who wants to compile statistics for LA, OH, and TX?

Posted by: arx | Jan 8, 2010 12:26:53 PM

My bad, it was December 9, 1999.

http://people.smu.edu/rhalperi/exec99.html

Posted by: federalist | Jan 8, 2010 1:01:54 PM

Bill Otis:

As I digest more of my paisano's ramblings about the death penalty, I better understand your prior "no holds barred" comment. He has a doctrinaire position and little credibility.

Lets find a way to exchange current contact info.

Posted by: mjs | Jan 8, 2010 1:40:19 PM

mjs --

Just so, but you still were right to admonish me. That others fail to act with restraint is no excuse for my following suit.

My e-mail address is the same as it has always been, so I believe you have it, although it might have been gobbled up at your former place of employment.

I just hope the Eagles don't crash in Dallas this week like they did last week. It's bad enough that the 76ers are dreadful again this season.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jan 8, 2010 2:54:01 PM

Arkansas killed three on this day in 1997.

Posted by: k | Jan 8, 2010 4:46:25 PM

Bill Otis:

No longer have your email address--will try to contact you through Linked-in.

This is not the Eagles year...and about the Sixers..at least no one has flashed a firearm as yet.

Posted by: mjs | Jan 8, 2010 6:29:36 PM

Sì, Claudio, bravi. Bravi perché hanno messo a morte tre disgraziati che hanno meritato pienamente la pena di morte. Meglio d'Italia in cui si viene scarcerato dopo pochi anni per l'assassinio. Persino quelli che hanno ammazzato il primo ministro nel 78 sono liberi. Quindi gli americani fanno bene. Magari potessimo fare così in Italia.

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Posted by: LAWYERS FOR POOR AMERICANS | Feb 27, 2010 11:04:08 AM

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