The popularity for and sentencing for the death penalty is declining in America, a research paper reports.
“The recent history of capital punishment in the U.S. has been marked by declining popularity and usage … Within the past 15 years, eight states have abandoned the death penalty through legislative repeal or judicial invalidation,” according to theconversation.com website.
“Capital punishment has been and continues to be controversial. … More than 2,700 men and women are under death sentence,” the website reported.
California has the nation’s largest Death Row: 737 men at San Quentin and more than 20 women at Chow- chilla.
“The number of new death sentences imposed annually nationwide has plummeted from more than 300 in the mid-1990s to a fraction of that – just 42 in 2018,” according to the National Death Penalty Archives in- formation.
There was a modern-day high number of 98 executions in 1999. Last year 25 people were executed in the United States.
Public approval for the killings is also declining. A 1995 Gallup Poll registered 80 percent public support for capital punishment. A similar poll in 2018 reflected only 56 percent support.
Texas leads the nation with more than five times as many executions as the next leading state, according to researchers.
Execution history includes the case of 14-year- old George Junius Stinney Jr., put to death in 1944 by South Carolina. Seventy years later his sentence was vacated when a judge ruled he did not get a fair trial.
The Stinney story and many others can be found at the National Death Penalty Archive. These archives house the court records, newspaper and magazine articles, bulletins, photographs and index cards for each of nearly 16,000 executions. These records have been assembled by M. Watt Espy Jr. over the past three decades for the project.