Every time a convicted murderer faces the death penalty (usually after 10 to 20 years), the press revives the pros and cons of the issue. The reality is that we have almost abolished capital punishment in the United States. In California, over 600 juries have sent over 600 convicted murderers to death row in the past 25 years. In that time only a little more than 5% of those convicts actually were executed.
Twelve states have banned capital punishment. Federal death sentences have been carried out twice in 34 years. The remaining 38 states (except Florida, Texas and Virginia) rarely execute any death row inmates. Though I believe many murderers deserve to be executed, the facts show that the delays, attitudes and laws are shifting to ban capital punishment in this century.