December 15th, 2011
01:07 AM ET

Executions, death sentences continue steady declines in 2011

The number of executions and death sentences nationwide continues a steady decline, according to a study released Thursday, matching dwindling public support for capital punishment in general.

Only 78 people have been sentenced to lethal injection so far this year, the first time that number has dropped below 100 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, according to the Death Penalty Information Center.

Death sentences last year were at 112, and have declined by nearly 75% from 15 years ago, when more than 300 individuals were condemned.

The information center's annual report also showed only 43 people were executed in 2011, down three from last year, and a 56% decline from 12 years ago, when nearly a hundred people were put to death.

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Filed under: Crime • U.S.
soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. F1

    But why? Do we ever get an explanation to any of this? More money wasted

    December 15, 2011 at 1:26 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas Moser

    Death sentences are not declining in Iran though:

    December 15, 2011 at 3:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. Hah!

    Because the people are finally getting the idea that is costs less to the taxpayers to house an ass hole for life than to put 'em to death?

    December 15, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      Right. Prosecutors know and so do judges. The condemned man's last meal with appeals costs more than a million bucks.

      December 15, 2011 at 8:11 am | Report abuse |
  4. Shane

    The sad thing is that people who were sentenced to death in the 80s and 90s are still taking up space and most are guilty without any reasonable doubt in cases where evidence is that strong the punishment should be carried out within a year that would really help alot but our justice system is pretty much like everything else in america totally screwed

    December 15, 2011 at 8:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Portland tony

      If someone has been on death row for 30 years, I would as as judge find this cruel and unusual. Aside from that, I don't believe the state has the right to kill someone based solely on "he said and uncorroborated he saw" testimony. I do, however, believe that certain crimes so nefarious in nature should carry the death penalty and that penalty should be carried out within 10 minutes of conviction.

      December 15, 2011 at 9:26 am | Report abuse |
  5. John

    Are criminals committing less heinous crimes?

    December 15, 2011 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  6. So

    Kill them the moment they are sentenced and it won't cost anything. Let a bailiff shoot the prisoner on the spot. Make execution manditory for all murders, and some other violent crimes.

    December 15, 2011 at 6:02 pm | Report abuse |
  7. F1

    @portland tony,,,,, i agree with you 100% they should be executed immediately!! I cant stand the fact that these people have more rights than i do , three meals a day, i strugle to put two a day on the table a day for my family. Its a shame that most of those convicts like being where they are at, to protect them from what? The rest of society, so we dont carry out the states responsibilties for carrying it out wouldnt it be cheaper to just shoot them when they walk out of the court room? 10 minutes is to long to wait, give them 5 and watch the hair stand up on end

    December 15, 2011 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |