Thursday, December 30, 2004

Year in review

As we wrap up 2004, let's look at where we're at:

Executions at a five-year low (59, compared with 65 last year and compared with 98 in 1999).

Death row population down slightly.

Death sentences dramatically down (an estimated 130 in 2004, compared with 144 in 2003 and 282 in 1999).

Courts in Kansas and New York struck down the death penalty.

California created a death penalty study commission.

New Jersey could be on the verge of abolition (and, perhaps, Connecticut too).

North Carolina may pass a moratorium this next year.

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon strike down the juvenile death penalty.

Texas may be headed for a court-enforced moratorium, unless and until the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals and U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals agree to start obeying the law and providing the comprehensive review of death sentences that the U.S. Supreme Court (and the U.S. Constitution) demand.

All in all, not a bad year for the abolition movement.

Champagne, anyone?

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