Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Death Penalty Update

Maryland and New Hampshire both seem poised to repeal the Death Penalty.

New Hampshire has never executed anyone under its current Death Penalty statute and Maryland hasn’t had an execution or death sentence since 2005. If both states repeal the Death Penalty it will bring the number of states without a Death Penalty up to 19. In the Northeast 7 out of 8 states would be without a Death Penalty leaving only Pennsylvania blocking the Northeast Region from becoming Death Penalty free.

In the United Nations 110 countries voted in favor of a resolution calling for a moratorium on executions as a step toward the abolition of the Death Penalty. Supporting nations included all of the European Union nations, Australia, Brazil and South Africa. There were 39 countries opposed to the resolution including the United States, Japan, China, Iran, India, North Korea, Syria and Zimbabwe. Thirty-six countries abstained.

Allow me to suggest that the US and Japan might want to look around at the company they’re keeping on this issue.

There have been 40 executions to date compared to 43 in 2011 and 46 in 2012. Fifteen of those executions have been in Texas, six were in Mississippi and Oklahoma and Arizona had five each.

There have been 1,317 executions in the US since executions resumed in 1976. 1,077 of those executions have been in the South, 155 have been in the Midwest, 81 have been in the West and 4, all so-called volunteers, have been in the Northeast. Texas alone has had 491 executions.

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