Death sentences decline sharply as public attitudes shift

FILE - This Sept. 21, 2010, file photo shows the death chamber of the new lethal injection facility at San Quentin State Prison in San Quentin, Calif. Only 30 people were sentenced to death in the United States in 2016, the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in use of the death penalty. The number is a sharp drop from the 49 death sentences last year and just a fraction of the peak of 315 in 1996, according to a report from the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit organization that opposes capital punishment and tracks the issue. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Only 30 people were sentenced to death in the United States this year, the lowest number since the early 1970s and a further sign of the steady decline in use of the death penalty.

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