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DPIC 2017 YEAR END REPORT: DEATH SENTENCES, EXECUTIONS AT NEAR-HISTORIC LOWS

December 14, 2017:

Executions and new death sentences remained near historic lows in 2017, and public support for the death penalty polled at its lowest level in 45 years, according to DPIC's annual report, “The Death Penalty in 2017: Year End Report,” released December 14.
Both the 23 executions and the 39 projected new death sentences in 2017 were the second lowest totals in more than a quarter-century. The executions were carried out in 8 states: Texas (7), Arkansas (4$, Alabama and Florida (3), Ohio and Virginia (2), Georgia and Missouri (1).
The death sentences were issued in 14 states, plus the federal government: California (11), Arizona, Nevada and Texas (4), Florida (3), Alabama, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania (2) and Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, U.S. Govt (1).
Four more people were exonerated from death row in 2017, bringing the total to 160 death-row exonerations since 1973. For the 17th consecutive year, the number of prisoners on the nation’s death rows fell, as the combination of exonerations, non-capital resentencings, and 
deaths by natural causes again outpaced new death sentences 
imposed. The 3-, 5-, and 10-year periods ending in 2017 had the lowest numbers of death sentences of any corresponding periods since 1976, continuing the nation’s long-term decline in the use of the death penalty. “Perhaps more than any place else, the changes in Harris County, Texas are symbolic of the long-term change in capital punishment in the United States,” said Robert Dunham, DPIC’s Executive Director. “For the first time since 1974, the county that has carried out more executions than any other did not execute any prisoner or sentence any defendant to death.” Public support for the death penalty dropped to 55%, according to an October 2017 national Gallup Poll, the lowest since March 1972. Support for the death penalty fell five percentage points nationally and 10 percentage points among Republicans since Gallup's October 2016 poll. Of the 81 scheduled execution dates in 2017, 58 (71.6%) were never carried out, either because of court ordered stays, gubernatorial reprieves or commutations, or rescheduling.
The death penalty remains geographically isolated, with two states—Texas and Arkansas—accounting for
 nearly half (48%) of all executions in 2017 and another two states—Alabama and
 Florida—accounting for an additional quarter. More than 30% of the new death sentences nationwide came from just three counties—Riverside, California; Clark, Nevada; and Maricopa, Arizona. Indeed, the 27 new death sentences imposed in the other 3,140 U.S. counties and county equivalents, were fewer than even last year's historic low.
The report found that an alarming 90% of the 23 prisoners executed in 2017 presented significant evidence of mental illness, intellectual disability, brain damage, severe trauma, and/or innocence. Four prisoners were executed despite substantial concerns about their guilt.

(Source: DPIC, 14/12/2017)

TANZANIA: MAGUFULI GRANTS PRESIDENTIAL AMNESTY TO 61 DEATH ROW INMATES
IRAQ: DIYALA COURT SENTENCES IS MEMBER TO DEATH OVER ASSISTING SUICIDE ATTACKERS IN BLASTS
EGYPT HANGS 15 OVER ATTACKS ON SECURITY FORCES: OFFICIALS
IRAN: SUPREME COURT APPROVES RESEARCHER'S DEATH PENALTY FOR SPYING
BAHRAIN: SIX SENTENCED TO DEATH OVER ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT, TERROR ATTACKS
JORDAN: MAN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DOUBLE MURDER
IRAN: MAN HANGED AFTER BEING 20 YEARS ON DEATH ROW
INDONESIA COURT COMMUTES DEATH PENALTY FOR EX-PRIEST
ILLINOIS (USA): GABRIEL SOLACHE EXONERATED
MALAYSIA: TWO NIGERIAN STUDENTS SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR DRUGS TRAFFICKING
IRAN: EIGHT INMATES EXECUTED AT RAJAII SHAHR PRISON OF KARAJ
VIRGINIA (USA): JOSEPH GIARRATANO LEAVES THE PRISON
SOMALIA: ALSHABAAB BEHEADS THREE PEOPLE IN BAKOL REGION
ARIZONA ENDS DEATH-ROW SOLITARY CONFINEMENT
JAPAN HANGS 2 INMATES; FIRST EXECUTIONS SINCE JULY
IRAN: ANOTHER WOMEN SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR ADULTERY IN TEHRAN
CHINA: THOUSANDS WATCH AS 10 PEOPLE SENTENCED TO DEATH IN SPORT STADIUM
THE DECADE OF THE UN MORATORIUM ON EXECUTIONS
EGYPT: MILITARY COURT ISSUES 14 DEATH SENTENCES
GENERAL MOTION OF THE 7TH CONGRESS OF HANDS OFF CAIN
KURDISH PARLIAMENT ISSUES AMNESTY: CONVICTS ON DEATH ROW GET 15 YEARS IN PRISON
IRAQ HANGS 38 SUNNI MILITANTS IN MASS EXECUTION: JUSTICE MINISTRY
KENYA: MANDATORY DEATH SENTENCE NOW UNCONSTITUTIONAL
IRAN: TWO PRISONERS HANGED FOR MURDER
EGYPT: COURT UPHOLDS DEATH SENTENCE AGAINST 3 FOR KILLING JUDGE’S SON
ARKANSAS (USA): FORMER DEATH ROW INMATE TIMOTHY HOWARD RELEASED
USA: REPORT, DETERRENCE IS BASED ON CERTAINTY OF APPREHENSION, NOT SEVERITY OF PUNISHMENT
IRAN: HANDS OFF CAIN, APPEAL TO GOVERNMENT TO STOP THE EXECUTION OF DJALALI
TAMIL NADU (INDIA): 6 SENTENCED TO DEATH IN SUSPECTED HONOUR KILLING OF DALIT MAN
BANGLADESH: FOUR TO DIE FOR KILLING AUTO-RICKSHAW DRIVER

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