This year Georgia is leading the nation in the number of prison inmates sentenced to death. In the past this title has been held by Texas but for the first time in 20 years their number is dropping to single digits.
The Death Penalty Information Center tells us that lethal injection is the primary method of execution in the United States. Georgia is responsible for nine lethal injections, which is nearly half of the 20 that have taken place this year all over the nation. This is a record for Georgia as well. The last time the execution rate was anywhere near this number was last year and 1987. Those years only hosted five lethal injections.
Texas only executed seven inmates, which is their lowest number since 1996 when only three were executed. States like Missouri and Florida each had one execution and Alabama had two.
With the rise in executions in Georgia, death sentencing is still on a steady decline. In 2015 and throughout this year no new death sentences were imposed even though 14 executions were performed. Texas, however sentenced four people to death in 2016 and two the previous year.
In the state of Georgia an execution date is assigned after an inmate has depleted all of his or her appeals. Recently execution have been delayed for months and have over time created a long list of execution eligible inmates that has been cleared this year.
Right now there aren’t any Georgia inmates eligible for execution so it’s unlikely that Georgia will have another record year in 2017.