The death penalty issue gets plenty of attention but many people don’t
know the facts about it. You may be surprised at how few inmates are
actually executed each year. In 2007 there were only 42 in the entire
United States. One of the issues that many people has is with the state
of Texas. They are well known for their stand on the death penalty. Of
the 42 executions in 2007 26 of them took place in Texas.
This is a very low number of people being executed though on a regular
basis when you think about it. 38 of the 50 states have the death penalty
in place but very few use it. Of course there are thousands of inmates on
death row but not currently scheduled for execution. It can take years
for their appeals to run out before they are scheduled for the death
penalty to actually be carried out.
Many individuals feel that the justice system is flawed and that
minorities in our society don’t get treated fairly when it comes to the
death penalty. Those that feel this way should pay more attention to the
various statistics. Twice as many white individuals are executed annually
than all other ethnic groups put together.
The use of the electric chair has become almost obsolete in the world of
executions. Almost all of them are now done by lethal injection. This
process seems to be more humane as the person is strapped down and then
injected with a needle. In just a couple of minutes they have peacefully
drifted into sleep and then they are pronounced dead. This is much less
of an ordeal that watching someone being electrocuted.
Very few women have been executed under the death penalty so when it does
take place it is a huge media frenzy surrounding it. There are only 54
women on death row in the entire United States at this time. This is due
to the fact that most of their crimes aren’t violent in nature.
Based on these statistics, it is hard to really know if the death penalty
is a deterrent for people before they commit a crime. Most of the
individuals that do receive a death penalty have a long criminal history
behind them. The conviction that has the death penalty attached to it was
just the latest one.