Despite planned executions, capital punishment is at 50yr low

Prisoner on Death Rowsource: USA Today
published: 22 May 2022

A South Carolina man facing a firing squad. An ailing 78-year-old who spent 30 years on death row. A Texas mother whose conviction has been widely questioned.

Four high-profile executions scheduled in just over a week, including a Texas man put to death Thursday night and another granted a stay in Tennessee, have renewed attention on the U.S. death penalty. But experts say the cases stand in relief partly because executions have declined to historic lows.

Publicity over the execution dates in the cluster of cases, including a debate over South Carolina’s adoption of a firing squad because of its struggles to obtain lethal injection drugs, could further fuel declining public support for the death penalty, some advocates said.

“Each of these cases demonstrates, in its own ways, the problems that have compelled many people in the country and many states to turn away from the death penalty,” said Christopher Wright Durocher, vice president of the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy.

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