California Had 24 New Death Sentences, While Florida Had 15
Last year, public support for capital punishment was at its lowest level in 40 years, according to a survey conducted by Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC).
The Death Penalty in 2013: Year End Report had several key findings: There were 39 executions in nine states; there were 80 death sentences in 2013; Maryland abolished the death penalty in 2013, the sixth state to do so in six years.
Executions dropped from 43 in 2012 to 39 in 2013. Texas carried out 16 executions. Florida carried out seven executions.
California had 24 new death sentences, while Florida had 15. Texas had nine. Alabama had five, Ohio had four, Pennsylvania had four, Arizona had three, Indiana had three, and Missouri had three. Fifteen states imposed at least one death sentence in 2013, compared to 18 in 2012. South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and Louisiana had no new death sentences.
As of April 1, 2013, there were 3,108 inmates on death rows in the U.S., compared to 3,170 at the same time last year. The total number of inmates on Death Row has decreased every year since 2001. In 2000, there were 3,670 inmates sentenced to death in the U.S.
The report found a notable factor causing the death penalty to lose public support is the ongoing problem states have in finding a consistent means of carrying out executions.
The problems of mistakes, unfairness, and even the method of execution have exasperated many supporters of the death penalty, contributing to less reliance on capital punishment, reports DIPC.
In 2013, 82 percent of the executions were carried out in the South, a percentage that has remained steady since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Only two percent of counties in the U.S. have evoked the majority of cases leading to executions since 1976, according to DPIC. Likewise, only two percent of the counties are responsible for the majority of today’s Death Row population and recent death sentences, the report shows.
Eighty-five percent of the counties in the U.S. have not had a single case resulting in an execution in more than 45 years, according to DPIC.
The Death Penalty Information Center is a non-profit organization serving the media and the public with information and analysis on capital punishment.
The DPIC provides in-depth reports, conducts briefings for journalists, promotes informed discussions, and serves as a resource to those working on this issue. Richard Dieter is executive director of DPIC. firstname.lastname@example.org, www.deathpenaltyinfo.org