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New Death Sentences in Texas Drop To 40-Year Low

Texas juries imposed new death sentences only twice in 2015 — the fewest since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide almost 40 years ago.

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Texas juries imposed only two new death sentences in 2015, the fewest since the death penalty was reinstated nationwide almost 40 years ago, according to a national report released Wednesday.

Just 49 death sentences were handed down across the country this year, a 33 percent drop from last year's 73 — which was already a 40-year low, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. Executions declined to a 24-year low, with 28 conducted in six states – Texas, Missouri, Georgia, Florida, Oklahoma and Virginia.

 

The numbers reflect a decline in support for capital punishment nationwide, according to the center's annual report.

The report cites a Pew Research Center poll that shows a 20-percent decline in support of capital punishment since the 1980s and 1990s. A majority of those polled, however, still supported the death penalty. But in the 2015 American Values Survey, 52 percent of Americans polled said they prefer a sentence of life without parole.

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