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A recent study indicates that the numbers of executions in the United States have decreased and are lower in 2016 than in the last 25 years. One reason may be due to the drastic reduction in death sentences, according to Reuters on Dec. 20.
There were 20 death row inmates executed in 2016, which is the lowest in the last quarter of a century. The Death Penalty Information Center indicates in 1996 there were 315 people executed and the number for this year signifies a 90 percent decrease.
Thirty-one states still allow the death penalty in capital cases. Of those states, only five took the lives of those sentenced to death. The study showed that Georgia executed nine inmates, whereas only seven executions took place in Texas.
Since the Supreme Court declared that sentencing a person to death was unconstitutional in 1972, the number of new sentences are significantly lower. The Death Penalty Information Center stated the number for 2016 is expected to be only 30; the lowest seen since the court ruling.
Other than the fact that death penalty sentences are unconstitutional, the legal battles and the ban on purchasing execution medications are deterring district attorneys from seeking capital punishment. Instead, they are opting for sentences of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Robert Dunham, the center’s executive director believes this decrease is due to the attitudes in America changing regarding execution as a form of effective punishment.
Written by Cathy Milne
Yahoo! News: U.S. executions hit 25-year low as capital punishment wanes – study
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