Magazine article Corrections Forum

Death Penalty 2014: Fewest Executions in 20 Years

Magazine article Corrections Forum

Death Penalty 2014: Fewest Executions in 20 Years

Article excerpt

With 35 executions last year, 2014 marks the fewest people put to death since 1994, according to a report released in December by the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC). The 72 new death sentences in 2014 is the lowest number in the modern era of the death penalty, dating back to 1974. Executions and sentences have steadily decreased, as Americans have grown more skeptical of capital punishment. The states' problems with lethal injections also contributed to the drop in executions this year.

Executions decreased 10% compared to 2013-from 39 last year to 35 this year-continuing an overall decline since 1999, when there were 98 executions. The number of states carrying out executions-seven- was the lowest in 25 years. Just three states-Texas, Missouri, and Florida-accounted for 80% of the executions. For the first time in 17 years, Texas did not lead the country in executions, being tied with Missouri at 10.

Death sentences-a more current barometer than executions-have declined by 77% since 1996, when there were 315. There were 79 death sentences last year. This is the fourth consecutive year that there have been fewer than 100 death sentences. …

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