Worldwide and in the U.S. the public has turned against the death penalty, but Trump insists on more federal executions.

Worldwide, the trend has been against the death penalty.  More and more nations have abolished it.  Some nations that still retain their laws allowing the death penalty have stopped using it.

The UK’s Amnesty International published a report at the end of 2017 that death sentences and actual executions are both DECLINING in the world:



American public opinion is turning against the death penalty!  More states have abolished the death penalty — or have stopped using it without repealing their laws.

A 2017 public opinion poll showed U.S. support for the death penalty is the lowest since 1972.  See this article:

Another 2017 article provides 87 Reasons to Rethink the Death Penalty.  Execution was meant for the worst of the worst. Research shows that’s far from the reality.  See this article:

This article from the end of 2017 showed executions and new death sentences hit historic low in the U.S. in 2017:

An early 2018 report show s MOST Americans favor Life Without Parole (LWOP) instead of the death penalty.  A Quinnipiac University poll found that American voters choose life without parole over the death penalty 51-37 percent, the first time a majority chose life over death since the poll first asked the question in 2004.  See information here:


In 2018 and 2019 the Trump regime took actions to bring back the federal death penalty.  Decent people are opposing that.

In 2018 Trump’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions urged MORE federal executions:

Trump replaced AG Sessions for not being blindly loyal to Trump, and his new AG — William Barr — is likewise a strong supporter of the death penalty.  In 2019 Trump and Barr decided to reinstate the federal death penalty in the U.S. after 16 years without federal executions.  AG Barr directed the Federal Bureau of Prisons to resume capital punishment, beginning with the executions of five men later in 2019.

But people pushed back in several ways.  A non-profit organization reported this:

“Scientists and other experts continue to agree that the death penalty has no deterrent effect on crimes. States without the death penalty continue to have significantly lower murder rates than those that retain capital punishment, which means it only serves to be an inhumane, simplistic, expensive and retributive punishment.

“Capital punishment is deeply flawed. Apart from it not acting as a deterrent, the U.S. criminal justice system is broken and rigged against the poor and people of color. It’s also more expensive than alternative sentences, and diverts resources from genuine crime control measures.

“Even worse, a 2014 study by researchers from Michigan and Pennsylvania found that at least 4.1% of all defendants sentenced to death in the U.S. in the modern era are innocent.”



The Trump administration is wrong to bring back federal executions:

Sister Helen Prejean comments on Trump/Barr return to federal death penalty.   Watch this portion of an August 2019 Democracy Now! broadcast and/or read the transcript:


In November 2019 a federal court blocked pending federal executions:

A reliable source reported that a U.S. district judge stopped four federal executions scheduled for Dec. 2019 and Jan. 2020.  Those would have been the first executions by the federal government after a 16-year period with no federal executions.  The court’s decision, although subject to appeal, prevents the federal government from resuming the practice of executing its citizens and perpetuating a culture of death.   Several news articles from November 2019 provide more information
















About GlenAnderson 1515 Articles
Since the late 1960s Glen Anderson has devoted his life to working as a volunteer for peace, nonviolence, social justice, and progressive political issues. He has worked through many existing organizations and started several. Over the years he has worked especially for such wide-ranging goals as making peace with Vietnam, eliminating nuclear weapons, converting from a military economy to a peacetime economy, abolishing the death penalty, promoting nonviolence at all levels throughout society, and helping people organize and strategize for grassroots movements to solve many kinds of problems. He writes, speaks, and conducts training workshops on a wide variety of topics. Since 1987 he has produced and hosted a one-hour cable TV interview program on many kinds of issues. Since 2017 he has blogged at He lives in Lacey near Olympia WA. You can reach him at (360) 491-9093