death penalty


DNA technology – and the number of people it's freed from death row - has made the death penalty a hot issue again. Ongoing debates over death penalty include: its effectiveness as a form of deterrence, the extent to which is should be used with cases involving the insane, mentally handicapped, or juveniles, and whether its costs are worth it.


Note on sources: almost all facts come from the Sourcebook, a huge store of facts pulled together by the University of Albany with the support of the Department of Justice.

Number of Americans on death row:

  • 3,254 (2005) (DOJ - pdf).

Number sentenced to death each year

source: DOJ - pdf

Number executed each year

source: DOJ

Crimes committed by those on death row:

  • Since 1965, all executions have been for murder convictions.

Number of murders and non-negligent manslaughters (average each decade):

  • 90's: 19,221 a year (DOJ) (less than 68/100,000 people);
  • 80's: 20,643 a year (DOJ) (less than 83/100,000 people);
  • 70's: 19,806 a year ('72 - '79) (DOJ) (less than 87/100,000 people).

Other resources for info on the death penalty:

  • Death Penalty Information Center
    - research and information source that claims to have no position on the death penalty, although its critics say it is anti-death penalty

  • - just as their name says

  • A Washington Post article on how capital punishment is going out of style

  • A New York Times article on a series of new economics studies that suggest frequent use of the death penalty is a deterrent and can save lives.

Did we miss something, let some slant slip in, lose a link - or do you just have something to say? Drop a line below! In the spirit of open dialogue, cJ asks you keep it civil, keep it real and keep it focused on the message, not the messenger. See our policy page for more on what that all means.

Effective ness of the Death Penalty

The New Jersey Assembly approved a bill to replace the state's death penalty with a sentence of life without parole by a vote of 44-36 on December 13. The fact that these votes were so close together say's that this is still a volitable issue. Does the death hpenalty really deter hanius crimes? How effective is this method and is it morally right?.

The United States is against murder but yet continues to kill people each year. The chart above shows that the death's are still increaseing so this shows that people do not stop their criminal acts because of their consequences. Even tough DNA samples have made it easier for law enforcers to depict the right individuals it is not enough to say that the death penalty is effective and deter murder.

An alternative act is to use sever punishment but keep the inviduals alive. Like make them shovel snow for the whole winter in the yard of the jail. Keep them in a hole for months with no sunlight. Give them punishment that makes them regret what they did and want to do better.


Phia | December 17, 2007 - 2:11pm

Thank you for the

Thank you for the information. It helped me by a long shot on my report for death penalty.

a random Mike (not verified) | November 25, 2007 - 5:00pm