14 January 2013

New resource on 2012 death sentences: Good news, bad news, and the fight goes on

The Death Penalty Information Center has created a new resource page on U.S. death sentences in 2012.

Among the key findings:

• 77 people were sentenced to death in 2012, the second lowest number of sentences since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976. (That's some progress, I suppose.)

• Of those sentenced, 3 were women, 48% were black, and 40% were white.

• Four states - Florida, California, Texas, and Pennsylvania - were responsible for 66% of the death sentences.

• Only nine counties produced over a third of the death sentences in the country.

I am ashamed that my home state of Pennsylvania is one of the most bloodthirsty four. We have a lot of work to do, fighting uphill against a Republican governor and a GOP-dominated state legislature.

But we must keep up the fight nationwide until the death penalty is abolished in all U.S. states - just as it has already been abolished in most other western democracies.

The death penalty is not about justice, it's about revenge. It's time we joined the more civilized world.

>> Check out the new resource page: Death Sentences in 2012

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