Statistically Speaking

Last week, the federal government announced a reduction in death sentences and executions in 2004, continuing a four-year trend. Pennsylvania, however, is set to execute its first prisoner in over six years on December 8. Here are some statistics about capital punishment in the United States since the Supreme Court lifted a four-year moratorium on the death penalty in 1976:

Prisoners awaiting execution, 2005: 3415

Total executions, 1976?present: 997

Most executions by state, 1976?present: 355 (Texas)

Most executions annually, 1976?present: 98 (in 1999)

States allowing capital punishment, 2005: 38

States allowing death by hanging
or firing squad, 2005: 5