Report : 11 U.S. executions in 2021 mark three-decade low

prisonersources: The Independent
published: 16 December 2021

States and the federal government carried out 11 executions this year, the fewest since 1988, as support for the death penalty has continued to decline. That’s according to an annual report on the death penalty released Thursday, which was also sharply critical of the Supreme Court and its role in green-lighting executions.

Three of the death sentences were carried out in January during an unprecedented run of federal executions that ended days before President Donald Trump left office. Annual executions have steadily declined since peaking at 98 in 1999.

Pandemic-related disruptions partly accounted for the low number of executions this year — though 2021 marked the seventh consecutive year when there were fewer than 30 executions and fewer than 50 new death sentences, the report said.

The federal death penalty was put on hold in June by Attorney General Merrick Garland, well short of the permanent abolition activists hoped for when Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to have openly opposed the death penalty. State executions continue despite growing numbers of Americans opposed to the death penalty.

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