U.S. Public Turning Away From Death Penalty?

In 1972, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned all U.S. death penalty laws, declaring them unconstitutional.  Public support for capital punishment was low back then, but by 1976, the death penalty had made a comeback and, 1,200+ executions later, here we are.

Yet now public support for the death penalty is as low as it’s been since 1972, and the New York Times this weekend made the case that it may really be on its way out.  The number of death sentences and executions annually has plummeted over the past decade, and 24 of the 50 states have either abolished capital punishment or not carried out an execution in 12 years or more.

In addition, the execution of Troy Davis was an eye-opener for hundreds of thousands of Americans, and exposed how horrifically and fatally flawed our capital punishment system actually is.  But these changes in public opinion and practice at the state level have not always translated into legislative votes repealing the death penalty.  To prevent future injustices, and to win more abolition victories, will require a serious commitment to get involved locally, and to stay involved until the death penalty in every state is nothing but an embarrassing chapter in our history books.

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5 thoughts on “U.S. Public Turning Away From Death Penalty?

  1. I have never witnessed such an act of defiance in the face of the international consensus, the ‘justice’ system, human rights and the inherent value and dignity of life as the heart breaking, hope trampling execution of Troy Davis.

    I watched in disbelief and bitter wonder as the nation that boasts Liberty through its Statue continuously fails its own people through its statutes. The United States professes to place such value on human life- especially American life- that it will deploy men and women to invade every cave and scour every mountainside seeking justice for lives cut short. This same nation however, is at ease with American citizens- its sons and daughters- spending year after year in prison cells awaiting their predetermined death at the hands of their own government.

    And whilst many are guilty- but still American, and still valuable- too many are like Troy Davis, their cases are shrouded in doubt and they may, in fact, be innocent. And as we saw on the 21st of September 2011;

    ‘No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave’.

    Wake up America! It is time for you to end this primitive and barbaric practice. It’s time to burn the gurneys and break the syringes and shut down the rows of death and silence the calls for revenge. Mercy triumphs over judgement. There is a better way, a higher road.

  2. I have never witnessed such an act of defiance in the face of the international consensus, the ‘justice’ system, human rights and the inherent value and dignity of life as the heart breaking, hope trampling execution of Troy Davis.

    I watched in disbelief and bitter wonder as the nation that boasts Liberty through its Statue continuously fails its own people through its statutes. The United States professes to place such value on human life- especially American life- that it will deploy men and women to invade every cave and scour every mountainside seeking justice for lives cut short. This same nation however, is at ease with American citizens- its sons and daughters- spending year after year in prison cells awaiting their predetermined death at the hands of their own government.

    And whilst many are guilty- but still American, and still valuable- too many are like Troy Davis, their cases are shrouded in doubt and they may, in fact, be innocent. And as we saw on the 21st of September 2011;

    ‘No refuge could save the hireling and slave
    From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave:
    And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
    O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave’.

    Wake up America! It is time for you to end this primitive and barbaric practice. It’s time to burn the gurneys and break the syringes and shut down the rows of death and silence the calls for revenge. Mercy triumphs over judgement. There is a better way, a higher road.

  3. If you're looking for a Republican presidential candidate who's against the death penalty, please support my bid for nomination.

    My reasons are based in religion. I believe the taking of human life is wrong– that goes for murderous rapist thugs, as well as innocent unborn children. Please find further information at my website. Don't worry, I don't want your money, I just want your support.

  4. If you’re looking for a Republican presidential candidate who’s against the death penalty, please support my bid for nomination.

    My reasons are based in religion. I believe the taking of human life is wrong– that goes for murderous rapist thugs, as well as innocent unborn children. Please find further information at my website. Don’t worry, I don’t want your money, I just want your support.

  5. i am for for the death penaty think about the victims don,t think about those murderers that kill people they are trash and its time to throw it away