In their 2013 year-end report, Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) reveals a continuing decline in the use of and public approval of the death penalty. Some of the key findings highlighted in the report include:
- A 10% decline in the number of executions, down to 39. This was the second time in 19 years that there were less than 40 executions in the U.S. Just two states, Texas (16) and Florida (7), were responsible for 59% of the executions.
- Fewer states imposed death sentences. In addition, the number of new death sentences remained close to the lowest level since the death penalty was reinstated in the 1970s.
- Public support for capital punishment registered a 40-year low.
- The number of states with the death penalty dropped in 2013, as Maryland became the sixth state in 6 years to abolish capital punishment.
Twenty years ago, use of the death penalty was increasing. Now it is declining by almost every measure,” said Richard Dieter, DPIC’s Executive Director and the author of the report. “The recurrent problems of the death penalty have made its application rare, isolated, and often delayed for decades. More states will likely reconsider the wisdom of retaining this expensive and ineffectual practice.”