Two percent of U.S. counties have been responsible for the majority of cases leading to executions since 1976, says the Death Penalty Information Center, an advocacy group opposing capital punishment. Two percent of counties also are responsible for the majority of today's death row population and recent death sentences.
In a new report, the center says all state executions since the death penalty was reinstated stem from cases in just 15 percent of counties. All of the 3,125 inmates on death row as of January 1, 2013 came from 20 percent of the counties. “The disparate and highly clustered use of the death penalty raises serious questions of unequal and arbitrary application of the law,” the center says, adding that it “forces the jurisdictions that have resisted the death penalty for decades to pay for a costly legal process that is often marred with injustice.”