Fewer prison inmates entered death row in 2005, says the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics. The Associated Press reported on a BJS study saying that four states – California, Texas, Florida, and Pennsylvania – held half of the 3,254 inmates awaiting execution at the end of 2005. There were 37 death row inmates in federal prisons. Sixteen states executed 60 prisoners last year, one more inmate than in 2004. As of Dec. 1, 2006, 52 inmates have been executed this year, says the private Death Penalty Information Center.
In all, 128 inmates added to death rows in 2005, the third consecutive year with a decline. It was the lowest number of prisoners put on death row since 1973. Sixty-six fewer inmates were on death row at the end of 2005 than in 2004. That was a decrease for the fifth straight year and about a 10 percent drop since Dec. 31, 2000, when there were 3,601 death row prisoners nationwide.