States turn away from death penalty as public opinion shifts

A poll found, for the first time, that a majority of Americans believe capital punishment is applied unfairly.
This photo shows the gurney in the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla., on Oct. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

Only five states conducted executions and just seven states imposed new death sentences on convicted murderers in 2023, as the long-term trend away from capital punishment continued, a new report finds.

States executed 24 people in the last 11 months, an increase from the 18 who were put to death in 2022 and more than twice the 11 executed in 2021. But the overall number of executions remain just a fraction of the peak reached in 1999, when 98 people were put to death.

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