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Wednesday, March 13, 2019

The Diminishing Death Penalty

The death penalty in America currently affects a tiny percentage of all persons convicted of crime, and is used frequently in only one region of the country. In the peak year of 1999, a total of ninety-eight persons were executed in the United States. Seventy-four of the ninety-eight were put to death in southern states, half in Texas and Virginia alone. Even among all persons found guilty of murder, the numbers who reach execution make up less than one-half of 1 percent. In the big statistical picture of criminal punishment, the death penalty is barely visible. [In March 2019, the governor of California placed a moratorium on the state's death penalty. Since no one in California has been executed in decades, the act was nothing more than political theater.]

Henry Ruth and Kevin R. Reitz, The Challenge of Crime, 2003

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