In a recent front-page article in the New York Times, Joshua Marquis, the district attorney in Clatsop County, Oregon, and a vice president of the National District Attorneys Association, indicated that most prosecutors with experience in death penalty cases are ambivalent about it: “Any sane prosecutor who is involved in capital litigation will really be ambivalent about it,” said Marquis, who has long supported the death penalty. According to the Times, he said the families of murder victims suffered needless anguish during what could be decades of litigation and multiple retrials. “We’re seeing fewer executions,” Mr. Marquis added. “We’re seeing fewer people sentenced to death. People really do question capital punishment. The whole idea of exoneration has really penetrated popular culture.”

The article also noted that 62% of the country’s executions this year occurred in only one state—Texas—and that 40 out of the 50 states had no executions in 2007.

(A. Liptak, “U.S. Disparity in Executions Grows as Texas Bucks Trend,” N.Y. Times, Dec. 26, 2007.) See New Voices and DPIC’s 2007 Year End Report.