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Colton Davis

Decline of Capital Punishment in U.S.

In the past years the death penalty in the United States have declined. There are
a few reasons behind this. This goes against Americans beliefs due to majority of
Americans support capital punishment. Public opinion also continues to shift as the
extreme costs of executions, as well as concern about innocent lives being taken, wears
away at popular approval. In Gallups annual poll, support for the death penalty fell to
60% which is the lowest level for more than 40 years. Reasons from outside countries
are the reason behind it.The reason includes a European boycott that is effecting U.S.,
punishing wrong person, non profit organization oppose it, and belief it is a cruel and
unusual punishment.
The first reason behind the decline is said to be because of a European-led
boycott against medical drugs used by the US corrections departments during an
execution process. European manufacturers, who originally supplied the traditional
substance that was used to execute prisoners in the U.S. because it was not a cruel
and unusual punishment, began to boycott the sale of the drug for moral reasons. A
report published by the Death Penalty Information Center indicates that a major factor
behind the slump has been the difficulty states are encountering in finding a consistent
means of ending life (Pilkington 1). The European-led boycott on the medical drugs that
the U.S. Corrections Departments are using to execute prisoners is impacting the U.S.
and causing an almost all time low. A report show that in the year of 2013 the number of
Capital punishments drone to only 39 executions with is only the second time since
1994 that the number of death penalties have dropped below 40.The total represents a
10 percent reduction from last year. No further executions are scheduled in 2013. The
report supports the reason of States are having a difficult time in the practice of lethal
injection as capital punishment.
There are states that are working to get around this boycott. States such as
California, Arkansas and North Carolina have all had effective moratoriums for the past
seven years because they have not decided on a workable lethal injection protocol. Also
several other states are turning to untested drugs and other lethal medicines improvised
in single batches produced by companies that are considered compounding
pharmacies, And they are not subject to federal regulations. The problem with this is
When the protocol changes the boycott expands and covers the new means of lethal
The European Commission imposed restrictions on the export of Anaesthetics to
the U.S. Corrections Departments in 2011, and amid the squeeze a succession of

states has been running out of their primary lethal drugs supplies. Due to that, States
have been forced to try new drug combinations or go to loosely regulated compounding
pharmacies that manufacturer variations of the drugs banned by the larger companies.
Until recently, most states relied on a combination of three drugs but many jurisdictions
now use a single or a combination of two drugs. Various state and federal courts have
postponed some planned executions until issues surrounding the new protocols are
resolved. Florida has moved to Midazolam Hydrochloride, which is a drug never before
used in executions. The problem with this is it might provoke an outcry that it might be
inflicting cruel and unusual punishment condemned prisoners. And Missouri was
prepared to inject a single dose of the anesthetic propofol for its two recent executions,
The second reason is the nonprofit organization provides accurate figures and a range
of analysis, but yet opposes use of the death penalty. The European Union had
threatened to limit export of the widely used drug for other purposes if the state had
proceeded. And a third reason is the prisoners that are put to death row are saying it is
cruel and an unusual punishment. I feel like lethal injection is the least they should do
for Capital Punishment. There are many other and much worse punishments that could
be practiced. I think the prisoners are getting it to easy if they are committing such
terrible crimes to put them in the position to get Capital punishment.
Since 2000 the Death penalty has steadily been declining but and the 2013
report follows that downward path. Though the number of new death sentences crept up
slightly from last year to 80, that remains close to the lowest level since executions were
stopped by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1973 and far fewer than the peak of 315 in 1996.
The population of death row in America has similarly declined, with 3,108 inmates
awaiting execution on 1 April 2013 compared with 3,170 a year previously.
In May, Maryland became the sixth state in six years to repeal the death penalty;
it is the 18th state in total. While the national picture is pointing towards the withering
away of the death sentence in America, locally the pattern is towards ever greater
extremes. As it recedes, the practice is becoming focused increasingly in a minority of
states, with just nine carrying out an execution in 2013 and 82% of the executions falling
within the South. While the annual number of executions and death sentences
continues to drop nationally overall, it remains a legally and socially acceptable form of
justice for aggravated murder in 32 states.Leading to Marylands decision to abolish
capital punishment was the discovery that authorities in 1985 had convicted and
sentenced to death the wrong man in the assault and murder of a 9-year-old girl in
Baltimore County. DNA testing not only excluded Kirk Bloodsworth as the killer, but
identified the actual perpetrator, who is now in prison. Bloodsworth was the first man
exonerated from death row by DNA evidence (Yost). The population of death row in
America has similarly declined, with 3,108 inmates awaiting execution on 1 April 2013
compared with 3,170 a year previously.

Two states stand out above all others. Texas retains its undisputed position as
the death penalty capital of America, taking the lives of 16 of their prisoners this in 2013,
which is almost half the total capital punishments from across the United States. But
even in Texas the winds of change can be felt; Texan courts meted out only nine new
death sentences in the course of the year. Texas is among the active death-penalty
states scrambling to find new lethal injection protocols after European-based
manufacturers banned U.S. prisons from using their drugs in executions. The other
state that stands out is Florida, which is pursuing the death penalty with an enthusiasm
shown by a few of the other parts of the country. It came in second for the list of
executions, having killed seven of its inmates this year. It has also declared its intention
to execute more people more quickly, with the passage of the Timely Justice Act that
speeds up the execution process.
A fourth reason is because They do not want the wrong and an innocent person
getting the death penalty. I think the decline begins with the revelations about mistakes
in capital cases that innocent people could get the penalty and almost be executed
has shocked the public to the point where death sentences are harder to obtain, said
Richard Dieter, executive director of the center. Theres a healthy skepticism about
imposing a death sentence knowing that new information is almost certain to arise 10 or
more years later, Dieter said. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty less, juries
are imposing it less and ultimately executions are occurring less frequently(Yost).
One explanation for the relatively low level of executions is that many drugs used in
lethal injections are manufactured in Europe, where some governments opposing
capital punishment have banned exporting drugs for executions.The death penalty in
the United States continued its pattern of broad decline in 2013, with experts attributing
the low numbers to a critical shortage of drugs used for lethal injection, increasing public
concern over judicial mistakes and the expense of capital cases, and a growing
preference for life without parole.
I dont think they should boycott the Lethal Injection, I believe after the terrible
crimes these prisoners have committed they deserve capital punishment. These
prisoners are saying lethal injection is a cruel and unusual punishment, but what is cruel
is the crime they committed. These criminals did things like rape and murder numerous
people. I feel like raping a person then killing a person in the cruel ways such as cutting
them up is cruel, not lethal injection. I feel like the only reason the lethal injection is
going down is because of the government is money driven so they are dealing with
these large organizations in other countries that supply the drugs instead of producing it
in their own country and supply it to the states. Although I believe the prisoners on
death row deserve a bullet in their back.

And after the boycott by European manufacturers, two states have been moving
toward more ''viable'' methods for capital punishment. In at least two U.S. states,
lawmakers are considering reintroducing "death by firing squad" as a method to execute
prisoners sentenced to death. Firing squads would be the most viable and inexpensive
option (Lack of lethal injection). The motivation for bringing back the technique long
sidelined in much of the world is economic: the U.S. is struggling to import the drug
contained in the lethal injection. Firing squads would be the most viable and
inexpensive option (Lack of lethal injection).
In the past few year the number of Capital Punishments have declined greatly.
The number one cause is because of a boycott set by a European manufacturers. This
boycott has set it to an all-time low but states are working to get around it by using new
drugs and new means. They are boycotting because it is against their belief but it is
effecting U.S. which majority is in support of Capital Punishment. Capital Punishment
should continued to be practiced with lethal injection at least because they committed
serious and violent crimes that they should be put to death for so they can be punished
the same and feel the same fear as the people they murdered. With out Capital
Punishment they are getting a slap on the wrist other than the fact they have to live their
life in jail, but do not feel the same thing their victims felt.

Lack of Lethal Injection, firing squad can again be used in the U.S.Pravda, 01 January
Web. 28 April 2014.
Pilkington, Ed. European boycott of death penalty drugs lowers rate of U.S.
executions. 19
December 2013. Web. 25 April 2014.
Yost, Pete. Report: use of death penalty shows decline in United States. 22 December
2013. Web.
24 April 2014.