Facts About the Death Penalty
Globally, 139 countries have agreed to abolish the death penalty as reported by Amnesty International. Â In 2010, Gabon abolished the death penalty for all crimes. Â In 2010, 23 countries executed 527 prisoners, and 2,024 people were sentenced to death in 67 countries. Â Currently, more than 17,000 people are under a sentence of death globally.
Fact 1. Since 1976, 1,317 people have been executed in the United States. Â 740 of these people were white, 452 black, 101 Hispanics, and another 24 were other races.
Fact 2. Â In regards to the odds of a death sentence, it was found that in Louisiana the odds of a death sentence were 97% higher if the victim was a white as compared to a black. A Californian study has found that those who killed whites were three times more likely to be sentenced to death.
Fact 3. Â Â Since 1973, more than 130 people have been released from Death Row with evidence of innocence.
Fact 4. Â In regards to mental disabilities, in 2002, the Supreme Court held that it is unconstitutional to execute defendants with mental retardation.
Fact 5. Â In regards to women on Death Row, there were 61 women facing execution as of April 1, 2012, which accounted for less than 2% of the total Death Row population. Since 1976, a total of 12 women have been executed. This constitutes less than 2% of the total Death Row population.
Fact 6. The death penalty does not act as a deterrent to murder. This is the opinion of the country’s top, academic, criminological societies.
Fact 7. In regards to the types of executions, a total of 1,143 convicts have been executed using lethal injection, 157 by electrocution, 11 by the gas chamber, 3 by hanging, and 3 by the firing squad.
Fact 8. Â Studies in California have indicated that the cost of the death penalty since 1978 has been over U.S. $4 billion. The study included: pre-trial and trial costs, automatic appeals, Â and state habeas corpus petitions, costs of federal appeals, and costs of incarceration on Death Row.
Fact 9. Surveys indicate that 39% of people opt for alternatives to the death penalty, such as, life without parole and restitution, life with parole 9%, life without parole 13%, and those opting for the death penalty constitute 33%.
Fact 10. Countries which have the death penalty imposed for drug offenses, include China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.
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