The death penalty has been around since 1608. Since then, changes have constantly been made to laws to ensure that the death penalty is carried out in a way that is constitutional and doesn't fall under cruel and unusual punishment. While it once enjoyed days where it was pretty popular, it now seems to be losing support. There have been a lot of developments in the past few years that suggest the death penalty is on its way out. For example:
- A number of states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Nebraska, Virginia and Alabama, introduced bills to abolish the death penalty this year. To date, none of these have passed, but it is obviously on lawmakers' minds.
- The number of death sentences handed down has decreased steadily from 306 in 1998 to an estimated 111 this year.
For more on the death penalty, its potential fate and its costs, check out my News Illustrated page on the back of the Outlook section on Sunday.
There are also some videos about the experiences of those who have been exonerated and about exploring the death penalty on the Death Penalty Information Center's website.
Also, to find facts about the death penalty by state, use this map on the Death Penalty Information Centers' website . Below is the information on Florida.
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