NGO report

The Death Penalty in 2023: Year End Report

By The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC), on 25 January 2024

Public Opinion 

Published on December 01, 2023.

Innocence cases dominated much of the media’s attention on death penalty cases in 2023. While these prisoners were largely unsuccessful in the courts, there was unprecedented support for their claims from state legislators, prosecutors, judges, and other elected officials, some of whom declared themselves newly disillusioned with use of the death penalty in their state. This year is the 9th consecutive year with fewer than 30 people executed (24) and fewer than 50 people sentenced to death (21, as of December 1). The 23 men and one woman who were executed in 2023 were the oldest average age (tied with 2021) and spent the longest average number of years in prison in the modern death penalty era before being executed. As in previous years, most prisoners had significant physical and mental health issues at the time of their executions, some of which can be attributed to the many years they spent in severe isolation on death row. Continued difficulties obtaining lethal injection drugs led some states to explore new, untested methods of execution or revive previously abandoned methods. Other states enacted or continued pauses on executions while the state’s method of execution was studied.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States
  • Themes list Public Opinion