Executions Are Dropping In The United States

December 21, 2010 at 6:11 am Leave a comment

According to the Washington Post, the use of death penalty is declining in the United States.  Here is an excerpt from the article

Virginia executed three people in 2010 — including the first woman put to death in the state in nearly a century — making it one of only seven states that carried out more than one execution during the year.

Despite the high-profile execution of a woman, the first in the United States since 2005, the number of death sentences carried out nationwide decreased in 2010 compared to the previous year, according to a new report by the District-based Death Penalty Information Center. There were 46 executions in 2010 compared to 52 in 2009.

The report also projects that 114 death sentences will be handed down by the end of the year, making it among the fewest since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

Richard Dieter, the center’s executive director, said he thinks concerns about fairness in deciding which crimes deserve death and worries over the possiblity of executing an innocent person have led to a decline in capital punishment over the past decade.

“If you look back 10 years there is much less use of the death penalty today,” Dieter said. “I think that reflects skepticism about the reliability. Will it be used to execute only the guilty? And even when used against the guilty,is is applied reliably, fairly and in a rational way?”

Since 1976, executions peaked at 98 in 1999. In the past decade, 2008 had the fewest executions with 37.

Maryland last executed a prisoner in 2005, and the state’s highest court halted the use of the death penalty on a technicality in 2006. Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), who opposes capital punishment, has yet to implement regulations required for executions to resume.”

I am glad that our country is starting to get more selective in the use of the death penalty. As the ultimate punishment for crime, the death penalty should be used very sparingly.

We have to be to very selective with the people who get the needle. We should an active policy of commuting death sentences, especially when the circumstances are not clear. If we cannot make an absolute conclusion that the person committed the crime, than the sentence should be commuted immediately.

When the person commits the worst of murders, there is absolute proof that the crime was committed by the suspect, and there is no mitigating circumstances, than I have no problem with the death penalty being applied. If somebody has killed and raped six woman and we have absolute evidence that the person did it, than that person should die. However, there is any bit of evidence that the person did not do the crime, the death penalty should not be applied.

I think juries are become more careful when the application of the death penalty is used. Like myself, more people would rather sentence to person to life without parole than sentence somebody to die unless it is the gravest of murders and we

The death penalty does not deter crime. It merely serves as the ultimate punitive action when the worst of the worst of murder occurs. But it application should be very limited and I am glad that our country is to starting to be more selective when the death penalty should be used.


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