Georgia led the nation in the number of executions this year, as the number of death sentences carried out in the United States fell to a 25-year low, according to the death penalty researchers.
States executed 20 prisoners this year, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. That is, eight less than last year’s total and a fraction of the modern record of 98 set in 1999.
For the first time since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976, Georgia carried out the most executions. It executed nine prisoners, two more than Texas, which usually leads the nation.
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In 2016, for the first time in four decades, no government-imposed 10 or more death sentences, according to the center.
Five states put to death prisoners of this year, with Texas and Georgia, which together account for 80% of the executions in 2016. Not since 1983 have so few states run at least a sentence of death. Since 2015, 85% of the executions have taken place in three states: Texas, Georgia, and Missouri.
The decrease in Texas — seven, compared to 13 was primarily the result of Texas appeal judges to grant more stays of execution by prisoner claims related to faulty forensic science, and prosecutorial misconduct, and other problems. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has granted 15 since 2015, compared to the three the that between 2012 and 2014.
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