Saturday, October 5, 2013

Only 2% of the Nation Responsible for the Majority of Our Death Penalty

Earlier this week, the Death Penalty Information Center released a report. They found that 2% of the counties in the United States account for over half of all people on death row and/or executed since 1976. Moreover, they discovered that only 20% of the counties in the United States account for all of the prisoners currently on death row.

The aggressive use of the death penalty by a few counties costs us all money.
When the total costs of the death penalty are divided by the number of executions carried out in a state, the amount can be $30 million per execution. (Source)
This $30 million comes out of our taxes.

Now, before people start in arguing "Well, it would be cheaper to put a bullet in the head" let me share this with you:

  • The vast majority of that $30 million is not to pay for the method of execution. It is for the 15 years or more of appeals.

So, you say, "Then let's get rid of the appeals." I say:

  • Since 1973, 140 people have been exonerated from death row. That means they were initially found guilty, but through appeals it was found that they were not guilty at all. So, without the appeals, there would be at least 140 innocent people dead. 
Of all the counties in the United States, 85% of all counties have not executed anyone in over 45 years. But in many of those counties, they are still paying for their neighbors who use the death penalty frequently. If you want to know what counties we're talking about:

This map depresses me. As you can see, St. Louis County and St. Louis City both are in the top 15.

For more information, check out the report yourself at:


  1. You might not be distinguishing between those found actually innocent and those found not guilty legally. The Innocence Project gives 18 as the number actually found innocent from death row here:

    1. Witness to Innocence as well as the Death Penalty Information Center gives the number 140. It looks like 18 might be the number of people exonerated through DNA analysis (?).

      Even so, I think 18 would be 18 too many. You can't take back the death penalty.

    2. Well....if as the below link suggests, each execution prevents three to eighteen future murders, then the answer is ot simple. The Supreme Court stopped the death penalty from 1972 to 1976 and murders increased after 1972 and decreased after 1976. The court resumed the death penalty due to evidence that it deterred future murders. The Catholic catechism in ccc 2267 only deals with protecting society from CAUGHT murderers. This is insufficient. Guatemala, and overwhelmingly Catholic country has a 5% capture rate for murder ( the US is 62% and other countries fall between those two extremes). A life sentence only protects against caught murderers unless they order revenge killings from prison as happened to a young boy in Newark. Raise the evidence requirements for execution but resume executions or take responsibility for future murder victims. Acts 5 after Ananias and Sapphira were killed...notes " the whole community took fear".
      That's why God gavemany death penalties to the Jews...because it deterred as Joanna Shepherd documents here:

  2. Wouldn't be surprised to find that those areas that have the lowest number of executions, have the highest number of abortions.....where 100% of the condemned are not guilty. I'm not a supporter of the death penalty, but just saying......


What do you think? I want to know.