Report by Death Penalty Information Center Shows Public Turn Away from Capital Punishment
Washington D.C. (12/19/12)—The death penalty continued its decline in 2012 as more states and jurors rejected death as punishment. The 2012 yearend report released by the Death Penalty Information Center on December 18th, 2012, provides more evidence that the current death penalty system is broken and unfair. This mounting evidence, in turn, is having an impact on eroding support for capital punishment among policymakers and the public. In 2012 the fewest number of states (9) in twenty years carried out executions.
According to the report over half (29) of all US states either don’t have the death penalty or haven’t had an execution in five years. In fact, the death penalty is increasingly a rare and geographically isolated form of punishment. Only four states (TX, MS, OK, and AZ) accounted for over 75% of the executions in 2012 according to the report. Previously active death penalty states like Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina had no executions and no new death sentences this year. A total of 38 scheduled executions were stayed because of serious problems in those cases.
Even with this progress, the report points out that people with serious mental illness are still unfairly sentenced to death and executed and that as the practice becomes rarer the risk of arbitrariness, bias and mistake becomes more apparent.
The National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty is the nation's oldest organization dedicated to the abolition of the death penalty. We are comprised of an extensive network representing more than 100 state and national affiliate organizations and thousands of advocates and volunteers. Our members include families of murder victims, people across the political and religious spectrum, past and present law enforcement officials and prominent civil and racial justice organizations working to end the death penalty forever.
In January 2014, the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty launched the 90 Million Strong Campaign to partner with and mobilize a growing number of national organizations and individuals who believe that it is time for the death penalty to end.