Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

10/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Study dispels notion that death penalty is widely practiced across the U.S., or has public support

A new study dispels the myth that the death penalty is carried out throughout the United States. In fact, it has been proven that more than half of all executions stem from cases in only two percent of counties. This flies in the face of the estimation that the death penalty in America has wide public support.

Only 62 of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. were responsible for 52 percent of all death row inmates executed since 1976.

Only 62 of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. were responsible for 52 percent of all death row inmates executed since 1976.


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

10/3/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Death penalty, United States, prosecutor, Texas, California

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In spite of this, taxpayers nationwide have shouldered the estimated $25 billion cost of death row sentences since 1973, the study has found.

The study also showed that death sentences are at their lowest level in four decades. Furthermore, 85 percent of all counties have not had a single person executed in more than 45 years.

The study did find that criminal offenders in the states of California, Texas, Oklahoma and Florida have a disproportionate chance of ending up on death row. Even then only a small number of counties remain responsible for the wide majority of death penalty sentences in the U.S.

Only 62 of the 3,143 counties in the U.S. were responsible for 52 percent of all death row inmates executed since 1976.

"People here believe in the death penalty but not in a death penalty that's unfair," Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center and the study's author says. "And that's the one that exists in practice."

The Southern states account for more than 80 percent of executions, with Texas leading at 38 percent. Even then, great internal disparities exist in these states.

"It appears in clusters, in certain cities, in certain counties," he said. Only four counties - Harris, Dallas, Tarrant and Bexar account for almost half of the state's executions, but only represent 34 percent of the population.

Just three counties in California in 2009 - Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside, accounted for more than 80 percent of the state's executions, but represented less than half of the population.

Dieter acknowledges the strong support for capital punishment based upon religious grounds, but says that his research also revealed another, more hidden reason for the regional discrepancy.

The decision to seek the death penalty rests with a single prosecutor, Dieter says. The prosecutor is highly unlikely to be held accountable in the case that his judgment appears misguided. Subjective interpretations on whether the crime was "heinous, cruel or atrocious," an aggravating circumstance necessary to justify pursuing the death penalty, can lead to various outcomes.

"The discretion to seek the death penalty is totally within the prosecutor's realm and that's where abuse may come in," he said. "Obviously as an individual, he might have biases," Dieter added.

Race and geography appear to be more significant in a prosecutor's decision than the actual severity of the crime, the report found.

Click here to learn about our Saint Michael the Archangel conference this Nov 1-3!


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More U.S.

Ten Commandments to be removed from capitol grounds Watch

Image of


The Capitol Preservation Commission in Oklahoma, who is responsible for managing the placement of artwork on public property, has voted to remove a Ten Commandments monument from its capitol grounds. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Reuters reported the Preservation ... continue reading

Rumored co-recipients of next Nobel Peace Prize criticized: one responsible for hundreds of American soldiers' deaths in Iraq Watch

Image of Secretary of State John Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are rumored to be co-recipients of 2016's Nobel Peace Prize (Laurent Gillieron/EPA).


Secretary of State John Kerry is rumored to be receiving a Nobel Peace Prize after finalizing the Iranian nuclear deal due to his close relationship with Iranian foreign minister Javad Zarif.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Kerry's efforts to seal the nuclear ... continue reading

SHOOTERS LAST WORDS TO VICTIM: You're going to see God in one second Watch

Image of Survivors embrace and pray in the aftermath of the shooting which left 9 people and the shooter dead.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The nation continues to mourn the mass shooting of nine students at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. Although the shooter's motive remains a mystery, religion may have been a factor in the killings. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Officials have ... continue reading

Heroic teacher warned classrooms to evacuate during the Oregon college shooting Watch

Image of Oregon shooting aftermath


A shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg left 10 people dead with one teacher shot in the head by a gunman described only to be in his 20's. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Terrifying and traumatic stories were shared by the survivors of the recent open ... continue reading

Christian Targets: College shooting leaves at least 10 dead Watch

Image of Victims were rushed to a nearby hospital (Roseburg News).

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced a school shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon on Thursday, which left at least ten people dead. Reports have come forward that the shooter was targeting Christian students. ROSEBURG, OREGON (Catholic ... continue reading

Did Pope Francis succeed in stopping an execution? Man skirts the death penalty for the fourth time in a row Watch

Image of Richard Glossip escapes the death penalty yet again.

By Kenya Sinclair (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Richard Glossip escaped the death penalty at the last minute once again, this time due to questions about lethal injection protocols. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hours before Glossip's sentence NBC News announced a letter sent from Pope Francis asking Glossip's ... continue reading

Husband killer executed after many failed appeals, including one from Pope Francis Watch

Image of Kelly Gissendaner's legal team filed three appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court and all were denied.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Not even an appeal from a representative of Pope Francis could stop her execution. After a five-hour delay, convicted husband killer Kelly Gissendaner was executed in Georgia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her lawyers filed appeals to both the state and ... continue reading

Face-to-face with evil: How one undercover reporter felt talking to late-term abortionist Shelley Sella Watch

Image of Planned Parenthood.


The founder of the Center for Medical Progress felt he came face-to-face with "evil" while giving an undercover interview with late-term abortionist Shelley Sella. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - David Daleiden of the Medical Progress Center revealed how he felt ... continue reading

Did Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis have a private meeting with Pope Francis? Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis, now infamous for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples and going to jail for her beliefs, claims to have met Pope Francis in a private meeting during his visit to the United States. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Davis' ... continue reading

Was the Pope's visit to Philadelphia a success? A local chef weighs in Watch

Image of


With Pope Francis's papal visit to Philadelphia, several security measures were set, including the closure of schools and establishments following a blocking-off of of major roads. Unfortunately, the security measures hurt local businesses. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA ... continue reading

All U.S. News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 4th, 2015 Image

St. Francis of Assisi
October 4: Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in ... Read More