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Legal executions down in US for 2016

January 06, 2017

The number of legal executions in the US dropped to 20 in 2016: the lowest number in the past 25 years.

Two states, Georgia and Texas, accounted for most of the executions carried out in 2016, with nine and seven respectively. Only five states put a convict to death.

The number of executions in the US rose during the 1990s, reaching a peak of 98 in 1999. Since that time the number has trended downward.

There were 30 people sentenced to death in the US in 2016; that too was the lowest number in recent years.

 
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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jan. 07, 2017 5:09 AM ET USA

    Still some way to go before we get down to the average number of executions per year conducted under the auspices of the Spanish Inquisition during its lifetime. I would say that the number of U.S. executions last year virtually fulfills in a quantitative sense St. JPII's guidance that capital punishment be "very rare:" 20 executions from an incarcerated population of 2.2 million equals less than 0.001%. In mathematical terms, this value is nearly "vanishingly small."