United States

RetentionistLegal status of the death penalty*
2654Number of individuals currently under sentence of death
5Executions in 2021
17Executions in 2020
22Executions in 2019

2021Last known execution
Shooting, Lethal InjectionMethod(s) of execution
YesParty to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
NoParty to the Second Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty
YesParty to the American Convention on Human Rights
NoParty to the Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights to Abolish the Death Penalty
NoUN Moratorium Resolution (2010): cosponsor
AgainstUN Moratorium Resolution (2010): vote
NoUN Moratorium Resolution (2010): has signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation
NoUN Moratorium Resolution (2012): cosponsor
AgainstUN Moratorium Resolution (2012): vote
NoUN Moratorium Resolution (2012): has signed the Note Verbale of Dissociation
NoDoes the country have a mandatory death penalty?
2021-08-30Last update


Source: Cornell Center on the Death Penalty Worldwide
*Source of classification: Amnesty International

Related document(s)

Document(s)

The Death Penalty in 2022: Year End Report

By Death Penalty Information Center, on 16 December 2022


2022

NGO report

United States


More details See the document

In a year awash with incendiary political advertising that drove the public’s perception of rising crime to record highs, public support for capital punishment and jury verdicts for death remained near fifty-year lows. Defying conventional political wisdom, nearly every measure of change — from new death sentences imposed and executions conducted to public opinion polls and election results — pointed to the continuing durability of the more than 20-year sustained decline of the death penalty in the United States.
The Gallup crime survey, administered in the midst of the midterm elections while the capital trial for the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida was underway, found that support for capital punishment remained within one percentage point of the half-century lows recorded in 2020 and 2021. The 20 new death sentences imposed in 2022 are fewer than in any year before the pandemic, and just 2 higher than the record lows of the prior two years. With the exception of the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the 18 executions in 2022 are the fewest since 1991.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Texas Death Penalty Developments in 2022: The Year in Review

By Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, on 16 December 2022


NGO report

United States


More details See the document

Use of the death penalty in Texas remained near historic low levels in 2022, with juries sentencing two people to death and the State executing five people. Three other scheduled executions were stayed by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals (CCA). Overall, the eight execution dates set for 2022 were the fewest in Texas since 1996.
Despite their low number, the executions set and carried out in 2022 raise troubling issues about the fairness and utility of the death penalty. Four of the men put to death, including 78-year-old Carl Wayne Buntion, suffered from physical or mental impairments or histories of childhood trauma, while two maintained their innocence of the crimes for which they were convicted.

  • Document type NGO report
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Closing the Slaughterhouse

By Dale M Brumfield, on 8 December 2022


2022

Book

United States


More details See the document

On July 1, 2021, Virginia ended a 413-year tradition by abolishing the death penalty.
Many of those convicted from 1608 to 2017 deserved harsh punishment – but Virginia took harsh to a whole new level with its “finality over fairness” philosophy. Four hundred years of her racist, mob-driven capital punishment system ensnared many innocent and undeserving victims under the toxic guises of protecting white citizens or being “tough on crime.” So many of those killed by the state died with their guilt or innocence lost to history.
Virginia leads the nation with 1,390 executions. After a 1976 Supreme Court decision, Virginia institutionalized and streamlined the parade to the death chamber more efficiently than any other state, executing between 1976 and 2017 a breathtaking 73 percent of all who received death sentences. The national average is 16 percent.

  • Document type Book
  • Countries list United States

Document(s)

Carrying out executions took a secret toll on workers — then changed their politics

By Chiara Eisner, on 16 November 2022


2022

Article

United States


More details See the document

Most of the workers NPR interviewed reported suffering serious mental and physical repercussions. But only one person said they received any psychological support from the government to help them cope. The experience was enough to shift many of their perspectives on capital punishment. No one who NPR spoke with whose work required them to witness executions in Virginia, Nevada, Florida, California, Ohio, South Carolina, Arizona, Nebraska, Texas, Alabama, Oregon, South Dakota or Indiana expressed support for the death penalty afterward, NPR found.

  • Document type Article
  • Countries list United States
Other documents
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