On December 15, the Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) released its annual report, The Death Penalty in 2011: Year End Report. According to the report, the number of both new death sentences and executions nationwide experienced significant declines in 2011 compared to previous years, with the number of new death sentences dropping below 100 for the first time since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
In DPIC’s official press release, the organization’s Executive Director Richard Dieter stated:
This year, the use of the death penalty continued to decline by almost every measure. Executions, death sentences, public support, the number of states with the death penalty all dropped from previous years. Whether it’s concerns about unfairness, executing the innocent, the high costs of the death penalty, or the general feeling that the government just can’t get it right, Americans moved further away from capital punishment in 2011.