The Death Penalty Information Center (DPIC) has released its annual summary of how the death penalty fared in this country during the preceding year.  The full report is available online here.

Hallmarks from 2019 include the following:

  • New Hampshire became the 21st state to abolish capital punishment.
  • California put all executions on hold.
  • Indiana reached its ten-year mark since its last execution.
  • As of 2019, 32 U.S. states have now either abolished the death penalty or not carried out an execution in more than a decade.
  • Capital punishment was at “near historic lows” in 2019 with 22 executions and a current count of 33 new death sentences,
  • The federal government attempted to resume executions after a 16-year hiatus.
  • Seven states carried out executions:  Texas (9); Tennessee (3); Alabama (3); Georgia (3); Florida (2); South Dakota (1); and Missouri (1).
  • Eight states imposed more than one death sentence: Florida (6); Ohio (6); Texas (4); Alabama (3); California (3); North Carolina (3);Pennsylvania (2); and South Carolina (2).
  • Georgia imposed a death sentence for the first time in five years in the Tiffany Moss case, where as a defendant with brain damage she was allowed to represent herself, presenting no defense at either the guilt or penalty phases of her trial.
  • At least 19 of the 22 prisoners executed in 2019 suffered from one or more of the following impairments: (1) significant evidence of mental illness (9); (2) evidence of brain injury, developmental brain damage, or an IQ in the intellectually disabled range (8); or (3) chronic serious childhood trauma, neglect, and/or abuse (13).  For more, read the DPIC Report section “Problematic Executions” by clicking on the image below.