Capital Punishment

Discussion
Dec 12, 2011
by: CListon

Because we are starting "Dead Man Walking" in english today, and we have been talking about the death penalty in my religion class, I decided to look up some facts and statistics about the death penalty.
The number of executions increased from zero in 1976 up to 98 in 1999, and down to 46 in 2010. The number of people on death row have followed the same trend with 517 in 1968, up to 3,593 in 2000, and down to 3,251 in 2011. The reason for the decrease after 2000 was because of many death penalty reforms. Many states ratified standards where every defendant would have the right to demand DNA evidence to be put on death row, in addition to other precautions preventing false accusations.
The racial distribution of people executed since 2010 is the following: 57.3% White, 33.3% Black, 8% Latino, 1.4% Hispanic.
The most common methods include lethal injection at 86.3%, electrocution at 12.4%, and other options including hanging, gas chamber, and firing squad all adding up to 1.3%.
99% of the people executed in the United States were male, and only 1% female.
Money is also a big factor in the question of executing people or not. Many people think that it is more expensive to keep people in prison their entire lives, rather than just killing them. However that is not true. In fact it is 10 times more expensive to execute someone than keep them in jail. The amount of money that goes into appeals and other court proceedings takes a huge sum of money that is gigantic compared to the amount necessary to keep them in jail.

Sources:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-07-exepensive-to-execute_N.htm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/sep/21/death-penalty-statis...
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2000/feb/12/julianborger1