Five states have abolished the death penalty in the last five years, and 800,000 voters in California have endorsed a ballot initiative, which, if successful this November, would repeal capital punishment in the nation’s largest state. A majority exists in the Maryland State Legislature to repeal the death penalty and one legislative chamber in both Colorado and Montana have passed bills to repeal capital punishment in recent years. In Oregon, the governor has declared a moratorium on all executions.
Two-thirds of all nations (141) have rejected the death penalty. Amnesty International’s 2012 annual global death penalty survey placed the United States among the top five countries that continue to execute prisoners, with China, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia.
The shift in U.S. public opinion on the death penalty is reflected in opinion polls and in jury rooms. The latest Gallup poll shows public support for the death penalty at its lowest since 1972, and death sentences have plummeted nationwide over the past decade.
Laura Moye, director of Amnesty International USA’s Death Penalty Abolition Campaign, said: “Not only is the death penalty the ultimate human rights violation, but it is bad public policy. We are better off redirecting public funds and energy to solving the vast number of cold cases and providing greater support to the victims of violent crime, rather than wasting funds on maintaining this enormously expensive and inhuman practice.”
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Now There Are 17!