Just four states carried out more than three-fourths of the executions in the U,S. this year, while another 23 states have not put an inmate to death in 10 years, an anti-capital punishment group reports, according to the Associated Press. The Death Penalty Information Center says Texas led the nation, as it does every year, with 15 executions. Arizona, Mississippi and Oklahoma had 6 each. Together, the four states accounted for 33 of the 43 executions in the United States in 2012.
The report says a handful of states were responsible for nearly two-thirds of death sentences imposed in 2012. Both executions and new death sentences are far below their peaks since executions resumed in 1977 after a halt imposed by the Supreme Court. Texas' 492 executions since 1977 are the most, by far. Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, which have been strong proponents of the death penalty, did not carry out an execution this year. And among those states, the only new death sentences were two in Georgia and one in Louisiana.