In 2011, the top five executing countries were China, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and the United States.
139 countries have abolished the death penalty in law or practice.
Today, in the United States:
For every nine people executed, one innocent person has been exonerated. Glenn Ford’s story is a fascinating tale of one of the exonerated. After 30 years on death row in Louisiana. Innocent.
3095 people are under a death sentence. Odds are that if we execute all of them, 343 could be innocent. Carlos DeLuna was likely one of them.
More than half of the 3095 people on death row in the U.S. are people of color. 42% are African American.
Research shows that a defendant is more likely to get the death penalty if the victim is white than if the victim is black. *see Racial Disparity in Sentencing: A Review of the Literature and The Death Penalty in Black and White: Who Lives, Who Dies, Who Decides
Since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, 1369 men, women, children, and mentally ill people have been shot, hanged, asphyxiated, lethally injected, and electrocuted by States and the federal government. *see Equal Justice Initiative
510 of these executions have been in Texas. That’s more than the next 6 states combined.
The average cost of a Texas death penalty case is $2.3 million vs. $750,000 for life in prison. *see What Makes the Death Penalty So Expensive
“Few defendants facing capital charges can afford to hire an attorney, so they are appointed attorneys who are frequently overworked, underpaid, and/or inexperienced in trying death penalty cases. In some cases, lawyers representing defendants in capital trials have slept through parts of trial, shown up in court intoxicated, and failed to do any work at all in preparation for the sentencing phase.” *see Equal Justice Initiative
“Most research on the death penalty demonstrates that the possibility of being sentenced to death does not deter criminals from committing either calculated or spontaneous crimes. There is no conclusive evidence that the death penalty reduces the murder rate. Furthermore, states that maintain the death penalty traditionally have higher murder rates than states that do not (according to FBI data).” *see Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
To dive further into this issue, watch CNN’s Death Row Stories and check out the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty’s links page, your connection to a wealth of information about the death penalty, how it affects us all, and what we can do to choose life.
“See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, death and adversity… Choose life so that you and your descendants may live…”