Strong support for US abolitionists on World Day
Progress towards abolition
Although executions continue, the number of those sentenced to death has reduced. Today in the USA, 15 states do not have the death penalty and 11 more made legislative proposals to abolish capital punishment in 2009.
In 2002 the Supreme Court prohibited the execution of the mentally ill, and in 2005 it prohibited the death penalty for offenders who were under 18 years old at the time of the crime. 2009 also saw a decrease in the number of death sentences, and the number of executions is trending down.
This World Day is the opportunity for abolitionists to work together, in the United States and abroad, to help continue this trend of restricting the use of the death penalty and to work to educate the public to bring about the end of its use.
By 2009, 139 countries in the world had abolished the death penalty in law or in practice, and 18 of the 58 retentionist states actually executed people. To support the American movement to end the death penalty is also to support abolition all over the world, to take another step towards universal abolition.