National Death Penalty Developments in 2013, from the Death Penalty Information Center

Today, December 19, 2013, the Death Penalty Information Center released its year-end report on national death penalty developments over the last year.  The report notes that on the national level, less than 40 executions took place and new death sentences remained near historic lows, as well.  Here’s a quote from the press release:

“Twenty years ago, use of the death penalty was increasing.  Now it is declining by almost every measure,” said Richard Dieter, DPIC’s Executive Director and the author of the report. “The recurrent problems of the death penalty have made its application rare, isolated, and often delayed for decades.  More states will likely reconsider the wisdom of retaining this expensive and ineffectual practice.”

In line with the death penalty’s decline, the number of states with capital punishment laws dropped to 32 this year, as Maryland became the 18th abolition state. Six states in six years have abandoned capital punishment: Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, and New Mexico.

Read DPIC’s “The Death Penalty in 2013: Year End Report” at

An infographic illustrating the declining use of the death penalty can be found at

A two-minute video summary of DPIC’s Year End Report is available at