The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

New Hampshire’s death penalty repeal fails by a single vote

(Pew Research Center)
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A repeal of New Hampshire’s death penalty fell just one vote short Thursday, in a 12 to 12 tie in the Senate.

House lawmakers had passed the repeal last month in a 225 to 104 vote, and Gov. Maggie Hassan had said she would sign the measure, making it the 19th state without a death penalty. The state’s last execution was in 1939, but the measure before the Senate would have preserved the penalty for the state’s only death row inmate, the Associated Press reports.

Since the Supreme Court reinstated the punishment in the mid-1970s, more than 1,300 people have been executed, according to Death Penalty Information Center data displayed in the above Pew Research Center animation. All but three were executed in state prisons. More than a third of all executions have taken place in Texas. Just six states — Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma, Florida, Missouri and Alabama — accounted for two-thirds of all executions. Eighteen states lack the death penalty, as shown in the below graphic.

The number of annual executions peaked in 1999, when 98 people were killed. The number of exonerations peaked a few years later, in 2003, when 12 prisoners were cleared of their crimes.

Support for the death penalty swelled from the mid-1960s to mid-1990s, but has since seen a steep decline, according to Pew. Support still outweighs opposition among all age groups, both genders, and by education. The demographic groups in which opposition is stronger are: Democrats, Hispanics and blacks.

Read more:

Shrinking Majority of Americans Support Death Penalty — Pew Research Center

Lower support for death penalty tracks with falling crime rates, more exonerations

Statistics, state by state — National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty