24 August 2005 :preliminary data from the FBI's Uniform Crime Report for 2004 found that murders in the U. S. dropped last year by 3.6%. The number of executions also declined in 2004.
In 2003, the South had the highest murder rate in the country, and that appeared to continue in 2004 even as the South carried out 85% of the nation's executions.
The Northeast, which had no executions in 2004, had the lowest murder rate in 2003 and that position appeared to remain the same in 2004. The FBI's final crime report for 2004 will be available in the fall.