Executions on Hold in Ten States
As 2006 draws to a close, most executions in ten states are effectively on hold as aspects of their capital punishment laws are examined. Two states, Illinois and New Jersey, have a formal moratorium on all executions while the viability of the death penalty is considered. In eight other states, almost all executions are being stayed as the states grapple with the lethal injection issue. Those states are Arkansas, California, Delaware, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, and South Dakota. In these states, individual executions have been stayed and it is likely that only inmates who waive their appeals could be executed until officials approve the lethal injection process. In addition, New York's death penalty law was declared unconstitutional in 2004 and New Hampshire has no one on death row, making executions unlikely in those places, as well.
Seventy-two percent of the states in the U.S. had no executions in 2006. Only 14 of the 38 states with the death penalty carried out any executions, and only 6 states conducted more than 1 execution this year. The number of executions in 2006 was 12% less than in 2005 and 46% less than in 1999. Preliminary indications are that the number of death sentences in 2006 will be the lowest since the death penalty was reinstated 30 years ago.
(DPIC analysis, Dec. 29, 2006). See DPIC's 2006 Year End Report and DPIC's Lethal Injection page.