Death Penalty Takes Hit.

Posted: March 9, 2011 in Uncategorized

Illinois abolishes death penalty, clears death row … is there anything left for Illinois? Illinois has been consistently corrupt, now they are opting to kill the death penalty.

People who are against the death penalty act as though the sentence is carried out immediately. There is quite a long time frame between the judgement, and an execution. There are appeals process in the interim. The chance of an innocent person receiving a death sentence is so incredibly rare… yet the chance of a murderer being released and repeating a crime is so much more common.

Death Penalty Info: Death row inmates in the U.S. typically spend over a decade awaiting execution. Some prisoners have been on death row for well over 20 years.

Another argument anti-death penalty people use is that they believe the death penalty focuses more on minorities, specifically black people..

Murderers: 56.1% of the death row population is White, 41.5% is Black and 2.4% is of another race.

Victims: over 75% white. 15% black. 6% hispanic. 3% other.

Another argument focuses on the length of time before a criminal receives their execution. In order for a person to have a chance to fight their sentencing, that takes time.. yet people consider that time frame cruel. This confirms there is no easy answer. But is it right for murderers to be re-released to re-commit crimes?

Yes it is horrible that innocent people can be caught up in the system and end up with the death penalty. Just like an innocent person can be convicted of any other crime. And just like guilty people never receive punishment.. this happens, both ways.. but a guilty person escaping justice happens far more often than an innocent person. For statistical information of the 1,242  were executed between 1977 and 2009 there are 7 that may have been innocent. That is 1/2%. Again not that they were innocent, but may possibly have been innocent. See the factsheet here.

Since 1973, over 130 people have been released from death row with evidence of their innocence.

On Crime Victims United shows sentencing guideline breakdowns for murderers. These range between 10 years to 22 years, which can be less or more do to aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

Summary of 34 murder sentences for murders committed between 11/24/1990 and 4/25/1995 and sentenced under sentencing guidelines:

  • Average sentence: 200 months (16.6 years, 13.3 after “good time”)
  • Minimum sentence: 66 months (5.5 years, 4.4 after “good time”)
  • Maximum sentence: 388 months (32.3 years, 25.8 after “good time”)
  • Number of sentences at or below minimum presumptive sentence: 7 (20%)
  • Number of prison terms (after “good time”) 10 years or less: 14 (41%)
  • Number of sentences (after “good time”) below Measure 11 minimum: 32 (94%)

Time Served and sentences have been shortened over the years.

  • All offenses Avg 1990: 69 months
  • All offenses Avg 2002: 36 months
  • Rape 1990: 128 months
  • Rape 2002: 104 months

Except for Murder, which increased slightly..

  • Murder 1990: 209 months (38% served)… 79 1/2 months (approx 6 1/2 years)
  • Murder 2002: 217 months (51% served) … 110 months (approx 9 years)

So what states still have the death penalty?

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

Which states don’t have the death penalty (effective today)

  • Alaska
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wisconsin
  • DC
  1. bob says:

    Since the advent of the use of DNA evidence, how many have wrongly received the death penalty?

    • gypsy says:

      The info I have looked at one shows the death penalty is rarely used, even when someone receives that sentence it takes longer and longer for them to actually receive the death penalty. I think I included a link to that info too.. need to double check.

      With DNA testing, an article I found from 2009 shows only 46 states mandate DNA testing:,8599,1905706,00.html
      “Seventeen people have been released from death row after DNA evidence cleared them”

      DNA (biological material) testing started in 1985 (blood typing/dna tests have been around since the 1920s).

      10 years after DNA testing was included there was a DRAMATIC drop off of death sentences. shortly after the turn of the century the amount was less than it was in 1977.
      there are a bunch of charts info etc on

      So with the the drastic decline in actually using the death penalty, at this time I can find people who were saved due to DNA but nothing out there that shows someone was wrongly received the death penalty due to DNA. That would be a tough thing to fudge. Most juries will find if there is that “element of doubt” that person is spared. Because of this if there is an element of doubt the prosecution will also opt for a lesser sentence.. again this spares that person from the death penalty.

      I hope this does not add confusion, and helps. Thank you Bob.

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