As Death Penalty Declines, Texas Still the National Leader


With six executions scheduled for the first three months of 2012 and more than twice as many executions as any other state last year Texas is poised to continue leading the nation in executions, says the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. Despite dropping to a 15-year low in 2011, Texas leads the U.S. in executions even as questions are raised nationwide about the wrongful conviction of inmates. Last year, 43 prisoners were executed nationwide.

Alabama, which had the second most executions, sent six inmates to the death chamber in 2011. Other states with more than one execution were Ohio with five, Georgia and Arizona each with four, and Oklahoma, Florida and Mississippi each with two, says the Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty. “Executions have dropped by about 50 percent since the late 1990s,” says its director, Richard Dieter. “With a growing concern about whether some of those convicted are actually innocent, jurors, prosecutors, judges and legislators [are] more cautious about the use of the death penalty.”

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