The Washington Post

There are 18 states without the death penalty. A third of them have banned it since 2007.

Pew Stateline infographic (by Mary Mahling and Maggie Clark)
Pew Stateline infographic (by Mary Mahling and Maggie Clark)

While a majority of the country’s states still have the death penalty, there has been a considerable shift in these numbers over the last decade. Before 2007, a dozen states banned capital punishment; between 2007 and 2013, six states banned it.

The six states to ban it since 2007 — New Jersey, New York, New Mexico, Illinois, Connecticut and Maryland — represent a fairly massive shift in this country. As many states banned the practice over that single seven-year period as had outlawed it during the half-century preceding it. (New Hamsphire came very close to becoming the 19th state to ban the death penalty earlier this month, but as had happened before, the repeal fell short.)

This also coincided with a period that saw the number of executions in the country drop, falling to an average of 44.3 executions per year between 2006 and 2013 from 71.1 executions between 1997 and 2005.

In addition, several states still have the death penalty but don’t utilize it. Most recently, Washington state announced earlier this year that the death penalty would be suspended there.

This animated GIF from Pew showing where executions have occurred since 1976 helps illustrate how the practice has continued in certain states while it has stalled in others:


RELATED: Here’s a map showing how each state with capital punishment chooses to execute its inmates.

Mark Berman is a reporter on the National staff. He runs Post Nation, a destination for breaking news and stories from around the country.



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