NEW RESOURCES: Bureau of Justice Statistics Reports Declining Use of Capital Punishment in 2011

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released its annual review of the death penalty in the U.S., focusing on 2011. The report noted the continued decline in the use of the death penalty in recent years. In 2011, 80 new inmates were received under sentence of death, the lowest number since 1973, and a 27% decrease from the year before. Executions also declined to 43, compared with 46 in 2010. The average time between sentencing and execution in 2011 was 16.5 years, 20 months longer than for those executed in 2010. The number of people on death row in the U.S. dropped to 3,082, marking the eleventh consecutive year in which the size of death row decreased. Florida, California, Texas, and Arizona accounted for half of all inmates sentenced to death. The report noted that in 2011 Illinois became the latest state to abolish the death penalty.

(Bureau of Justice Statistics, Capital Punishment, 2011 - Statistical Tables, July 2013). For information on the death penalty in 2012, see DPIC’s Year End Report. See Death Row, Sentencing and Studies.