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USA. FEWER INMATES ON DEATH ROW IN 2005, STUDY

December 9, 2006: fewer prison inmates were moved to death row in 2005, according to a federal study that shows one more person was executed than in the year before. Four states - California, Texas, Florida and Pennsylvania - held half of the 3,254 inmates awaiting execution at the end of 2005, the study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed. There were 37 death row inmates in federal prisons at that time.
Sixteen states executed 60 prisoners last year, one more inmate than in 2004
Overall, however, the number of inmates on death row on Dec. 31, 2005, or the number of inmates moved there during the year dipped.
Among the findings by the Justice Department agency:
-128 inmates were moved to death row in 2005, the third consecutive year with a decline in yearlong totals. It was the lowest number of prisoners put on death row since 1973.
-Sixty-six fewer inmates were on death row at the end of 2005 than in 2004. That was a decrease for the fifth straight year and about a 10 percent drop since Dec. 31, 2000, when there were 3,601 death row prisoners nationwide.
Sue Gunawardena-Vaughn, director of the group's Program to Abolish the Death Penalty, said the drop in part reflects the public's squeamishness in approving executions for people who ultimately may be found innocent.
Since 1973, when watchdog groups began keeping track, 123 death row inmates have been cleared of crimes that had earned them death sentences.
Juries ``don't want to be culpable for possibly putting an innocent person to death,'' Gunawardena-Vaughn said.
Moreover, because of lengthy trials and inevitable years of appeals in capital murder cases, the death penalty is expensive and ``dilutes very, very crucial resources - many of which could be put toward more policing or mental health programs,'' she said.
As of the beginning of this month, 52 inmates have been executed so far in 2006, according to data provided by the Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center.
Thirty-eight states and the federal government allow juries to consider the death penalty in the most heinous criminal cases. All states except Nebraska allow lethal injection in executions. Inmates in Nebraska and eight other states can be electrocuted. Additionally, three states allow death by hanging, another three by firing squad and four by lethal gas.
At the end of last year, 56 percent of death row inmates were white and 42 percent were black, the Justice Department study reported. Women accounted for 2 percent of those people facing execution. (Sources: AP, 09/12/2006)

IRAQ. SADDAM HUSSEIN EXECUTED
FIDH ASKS NOT TO EXECUTE SADDAM
IRAQ. ITALIAN MP STARTS THIRST AND HUNGER STRIKE TO PROTEST SADDAM EXECUTION
EU. DEATH PENALTY DECLARATION PRESENTED AT UNGA
IRAN. SIX MEN HANGED FOR MURDER
HOC. EU DECLARATION UNSATISFACTORY
HOC. NO TO RANSOM FOR MEDICS SENTENCED TO DEATH IN LIBYA
MARYLAND (USA). COURT HALTS EXECUTIONS
IRAQ. 13 CONVICTED CRIMINALS EXECUTED
LIBYA. FOREIGN MEDICS SENTENCED TO DIE IN HIV CASE
EU DENOUNCED DEATH SENTENCES AGAINST BULGARIAN MEDICS
IRAN HANGS ARAB SEPARATISTS
IRAN. THREE AFGHANS PUBLICLY HANGED FOR RAPE
KENYA. DEATH SENTENCE WAS TOO HARSH, SAYS NGUGI
SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTES PAKISTANI FOR DRUG PEDDLING
LETHAL INJECTION. THERE IS NO HUMAN METHOD OF EXECUTION, D’ELIA
UNITED STATES. CALIFORNIA'S USE OF LETHAL INJECTION RULED UNCONSTITUTIONAL
UNITED STATES. FLORIDA HALTS EXECUTIONS AFTER LINGERING DEATH OF INMATE
RADICAL PARTY. LAUNCH OF 2007 REGISTRATION CAMPAIGN
GEORGIAN CONSTITUTION CLARIFIED ON DEATH PENALTY
SRI LANKA SENTENCES TWO TO HANG FOR TSUNAMI MURDER
KENYA. THREE SECURITY GUARDS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR VIOLENT ROBBERY
UNITED STATES. EXECUTION OF FLORIDA INMATE TAKES 34 MINUTES
TWO EGYPTIANS HANGED FOR MURDERING TODDLER
IRAN HANGS MAN IN PUBLIC FOR MURDER
POLAND. EXHIBIT BY OLIVIERO TOSCANI ON HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES IN CUBA OPENS IN WARSAW
BAHRAIN. THREE FOREIGN NATIONALS EXECUTED BY FIRING SQUAD
SAUDI ARABIA EXECUTES NIGERIAN FOR DRUG SMUGGLING
RUSSIAN LAWMAKERS MOVE TO EXTEND MORATORIUM ON DEATH PENALTY
SOMALIA. OFFICIAL THREATENS BEHEADINGS FOR NOT PRAYING 5 TIMES DAILY

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