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Matthew T. Mangino: A year-end review of the death penalty

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As the year comes to a close, it is abundantly clear that the death penalty has fallen out of favor in America’s criminal justice system. This year will end with the second fewest executions since 1991.

With approximately 2,700 men and women on death row, the execution rate for 2019 was about .008 - less than one percent.

There are fewer prosecutors seeking the death penalty, fewer juries imposing the death penalty and fewer states carrying out the death penalty. In fact, of the 22 executions this year, nine were in Texas and only six other states were responsible for the rest.

The death penalty has been spiraling to unprecedented lows, as states conducted fewer than 30 executions and imposed fewer than 50 new death sentences for the fifth year in a row. There were only 34 new death sentences in 2019.

In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court banned the execution of juveniles. In making the decision, the Court cited “evolving standards of decency.” In the analysis of evolving standards of decency the court considers the action of........

© The Intelligencer