STATES CHRONICLE – An annual report on capital punishment reveals that death penalties are at an all-time low in the U.S.
Over the last few years there has been a steady decrease in the number of death penalties in the United States. If in 2014, there were 73 death sentences given, in 2015, it is down to only 49.
Texas is still a leader among the states, but it has also decreased its passing of life-terminating sentences. For instance, in 2015, Texas executed 13 people. This is half of the national number of deaths by capital punishment, but it is less than th4 40 people it executed in 2000.
This is part of a general decline that has spanned several years. One of the reasons is that people are starting to lose faith in the infallibility of the justice system, as many people have been wrongfully sentenced to death.
There is also the debate surrounding the drugs used for the lethal injection. In June, three prisoners in Oklahoma questioned the sedative used before the administration of the lethal drug. They claimed that it did not effectively sedate the patient, but leaves them to fully experience the pain.
Following the uncertainties related to the drugs used in capital punishment, several states stopped passing the death sentence.
There is also much other evidence that forensic science is deeply flawed, that eye-witness accounts are very unreliable and that the sentencing tends to be race-biased, which have made the public less eager to see the death penalty carried out.
As a result, in Texas, four of the seven juries in cases where the prosecutors asked for the death sentence opted for more lenient alternatives. The most chosen one was life in prison.
But despite this significant drop in the number of death sentences, there are some who think that capital punishment will never be abolished in the United States. They say that there are many people who still feel that this is the only appropriate punishment for some crimes.
Public support for the death penalty has remained rather stable, at 61%, but the number of Americans who disapprove of the measure has risen to 37%. This data has been released by Gallup.
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