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Death penalty decline holds steady in 2013, but there’s disagreement over why

Thirty-nine people were executed in the United States this year – down from a peak of 98 in 1999. To detractors of the death penalty, it’s one indicator of a trend away from the use of capital punishment. To supporters, the decline largely reflects…  …

Americans’ support for death penalty lowest in 40 years

Support for the death penalty is at a four-decade low in the United States, though most Americans — three out of five — still favor it, a new Gallup poll out Tuesday found. Sixty percent of Americans say they back capital punishment for convicted killers; that is the lowest figure…

New Delhi gang rapists sentenced to death

A judge sentenced four men to death Friday for the fatal gang rape of an Indian student on a bus last December, triggering applause inside the packed courtroom. Judge Yogesh Khanna told a court in the Indian capital that the case, which sparked widespread anger against the treatment of women…

Science ‘lacking’ on whether death penalty deters murder

WASHINGTON — Scientific research to date provides no useful conclusion on whether the death penalty reduces or boosts the murder rate, said a report by the US National Academy of Sciences on Wednesday. A committee of scientists reviewed research done over the past 35 years and found it was “not…

Japan executes first prisoners since 2010

Japan resumed its use of capital punishment after a 20-month break on Thursday, with an unapologetic government minister signing death warrants for three multiple murderers. The convicts went to the gallows on the orders of the justice minister, who said he was acting in line with public opinion, which overwhelmingly supports the death penalty.…

U.S. among worst offenders in annual death penalty report

The United States placed fifth overall on a list of nations that executed the most people in 2011, according to human rights advocacy group Amnesty International. Amnesty, which compiles its report every year, opposes capital punishment in all circumstances, regardless of allegations against those facing the death penalty. It noted…

Study finds death penalty use in decline

(Reuters) – Use of the death penalty has fallen to its lowest level since capital punishment was reinstated in the United States in 1976, according to a report released on Thursday by a nonprofit that tracks death penalty data. The Washington-based Death Penalty Information Center reported a 75 percent drop…

Capital punishment slowly loses ground in U.S.

WASHINGTON — With a new moratorium on the death penalty in Oregon and a drop in the number of death sentences and executions, capital punishment is slowly losing ground in the United States. Oregon governor John Fitzhaber announced on Tuesday that the northwestern state will halt executions at least until…

Oregon becomes latest state to halt executions

LOS ANGELES — The governor of Oregon announced a halt to executions in the northwestern US state, the latest to drop capital punishment as a penal option. Governor John Kitzhaber issued a temporary reprieve for a prisoner due to die next month, and said he would allow no more executions…

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