Could the death penalty – never far from the Supreme Court’s docket – be nearing its demise? Few issues have caused the Court more discomfort since the turn of the Century.
While most states (31) authorize the death penalty, few of them actually use it. As of January 1, 2018, there were 2,816 death row inmates in the United States. In 2017, 23 such inmates were put to death. In 2016 and 2015, just 20 and 28 inmates to were executed, respectively.
Despite the procedure’s significant cost to taxpayers and opposition groups’ efforts to abolish, federal and state courts continue to impose the death sentence.