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Executions in the US fell to record lows in 2016. But the death penalty is not going away.


The death penalty is getting less support among Americans and executions fell to record lows in 2016.

The Death Penalty Information Center said in its annual report last week 20 people were executed in 2016. That's the lowest total in a quarter-century. For the first time in more than 40 years, no state imposed 10 or more death sentences; California led the nation with nine.

Public support for the death penalty also fell to a 40-year low, according to the Pew Research Center.

Only five states executed anyone:

  • Georgia (9)
  • Texas (7)
  • Alabama (2)
  • Missouri (1)
  • Florida (1)

However, in California, Nebraska and Oklahoma, bills to repeal the death penalty fell short.

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The number of defendants sentenced to death fell dramatically. In 1996 there were 315 death sentences, while in 2016 there were only 29. However, there are only about 300 fewer people on death row than in 1996. 

Progressive groups like the ACLU applauded the death penalty's decline.

But some residents of nations without the death penalty want it back.

Should the death penalty be repealed?

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