Originally posted on WTVR.com:
(CNN) — A shortage of lethal injection chemicals has contributed to declining use of capital punishment in the United States with a new report on Thursday noting only 39 executions this year.
It is only the second time in the past two decades the annual number of inmates put to death has dropped below 40.
The total represents a 10 percent reduction from last year. No further executions are scheduled in 2013.
“Twenty years ago, use of the death penalty was increasing. Now it is declining by almost every measure,” said Richard Dieter, executive director of the Death Penalty Information Center, and the author of the report.
“The recurrent problems of the death penalty have made its application rare, isolated, and often delayed for decades. More states will likely reconsider the wisdom of retaining this expensive and ineffectual practice.”
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