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USA: HISTORIC DECLINES IN DEATH PENALTY USE CONTINUE

December 21, 2016: Death sentences, executions, and public support for the death penalty continued their historic declines in 2016, according to DPIC's annual report, "The Death Penalty in 2016: Year End Report," released on December 21.
The 30 death sentences imposed this year are the fewest in the modern era of capital punishment in the U.S.—since the Supreme Court declared all existing death penalty statutes unconstitutional in 1972—and declined 39% from 2015's already 40-year low. Just 20 people were executed in 2016, the fewest executions since 1991.
Both death sentences and executions were increasingly geographically isolated.
Two states—Georgia and Texas—accounted for 80% of executions, and more than half of all death sentences were imposed in just three states—California, Ohio, and Texas.
As in past years, those executed in 2016 often did not represent the “worst of the worst,” but rather those defendants who had mental health problems, inadequate representation, or insufficient judicial review. 60% of the 20 people executed in 2016 showed significant evidence of mental illness, brain impairment, and/or low intellectual functioning.
Election results reflected America's deep divisions about the death penalty, as voters in three states decided to retain the death penalty or add it to the state constitution, while voters in five of the highest-use death penalty counties replaced prosecutors who strongly supported the death penalty with candidates who promised reform and reductions in capital prosecutions.
Courts struck down practices in Arizona, Delaware, Florida, and Oklahoma that had contributed to disproportionately high numbers of death sentences. “America is in the midst of a major climate change concerning capital punishment. While there may be fits and starts and occasional steps backward, the long-term trend remains clear,” said Robert Dunham, DPIC’s Executive Director and the author of the report.
“Whether it’s concerns about innocence, costs, and discrimination, availability of life without parole as a safe alternative, or the questionable way in which states are attempting to carry out executions, the public grows increasingly uncomfortable with the death penalty each year.”
The report also includes a discussion of executions this year that involved inmates who had symptoms of severe mental illness, intellectual disabilities, or extreme trauma. It covers court developments across the country and features quotes from notable voices who spoke about the death penalty this year. (Source: DPIC, 21/12/2016)

VIETNAM: DEATH PENALTY FOR SIX DRUG TRAFFICKERS
CHINA: ARSONIST SENTENCED TO DEATH
IRAQ: 88 TERRORIST CONVICTS EXECUTED IN 2016
QATAR: DRUGS GANG LEADER SENTENCED TO DEATH
WASHINGTON (USA): GOVERNOR ISSUES REPRIEVE, CALLS FOR ABOLITION OF DEATH PENALTY
SAUDI ARABIA: GENEROSITY OF A SAUDI SAVES AN INDIAN FROM DEATH SENTENCE
JORDAN: FIVE MEMBERS OF ISIL CELL SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR TERROR
CALIFORNIA REJECTS PROPOSED NEW DEATH PENALTY RULES
IRAN: PUBLIC FLOGGING SENTENCE CARRIED OUT
JORDAN: FOUR JORDANIANS GIVEN DEATH PENALTY OVER DRUGS KILLING
PAKISTAN: DEATH SENTENCE REVOKED ONE DAY AHEAD OF EXECUTION
SAUDI ARABIA: SAUDI GETS DEATH PENALTY FOR INTERIOR MINISTRY BOMB PLOT
THAILAND: PHUKET PRISONERS RELEASED ON ROYAL PARDON
IRAN: TWO AMPUTATION SENTENCES CARRIED OUT
PAKISTAN: FIRST CONVICT HANGED AFTER THREE MONTHS
ZAMBIA: MPOMBO’S SON SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR MURDER
NIGERIA: EDO STATE EXECUTES THREE DEATH ROW INMATES
INDIA: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR RAPING AND MURDERING MINOR
PENNSYLVANIA (USA): FIRST-DEGREE MURDER CHARGES DROPPED AGAINST TWO FORMER PENNSYLVANIA DEATH ROW PRISONERS WITH INNOCENCE CLAIMS
FLORIDA (USA): MORE THAN 200 PRISONERS UNCONSTITUTIONALLY SENTENCED TO DEATH MAY GET NEW SENTENCING HEARING
IRAN: PRISONER EXECUTED IN PUBLIC
CALIFORNIA (USA): SUPREME COURT HALTS DEATH PENALTY MEASURE
JORDAN: SECURITY COURT HANDS DOWN DEATH SENTENCE FOR KILLER OF SLAIN WRITER NAHED HATTAR
INDIA: YASIN BHATKAL, 4 OTHERS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR 2013 HYDERABAD BLASTS
SAUDI ARABIA: SAUDI NATIONAL EXECUTED FOR MURDERING COMPATRIOT
UAE: DEATH ROW EMIRATI CONVICT WALKS FREE AFTER 14 YEARS
UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY REBUKES IRAN FOR HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD
DEATH PENALTY: UNITED NATIONS CONFIRM THE REQUEST OF A UNIVERSAL MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
IRAQ: ISIS EXECUTES TEENAGER IN KIRKUK ON CHARGES OF SPYING
NORTH KOREA ORDERS BAN ON PUBLIC TRIALS AND EXECUTIONS

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