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Friday, December 31, 2010

Fewer Executions in U.S., 17 Remain on Idaho's Death Row

Posted By on Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 3:32 PM

Sixteen men and 1 woman are ending another year on Idaho's death row. It's been 16 years since Idaho has seen an execution. Meanwhile, the national debate over putting people to death grew in 2010. According to the Death Penalty Information Center, there were 46 executions in 2010, nearly 12 percent fewer than a year ago and nearly half the number from only 10 years ago.

The center, in its year-end report, suggests that juries continue to favor the punishment of life without parole over execution when given the choice. In a recent poll by Lake Research Partners, 61 percent of U.S. voters chose various alternative sentences over the death penalty as the proper punishment for murder. And the economy was on the public's mind, when 65 percent in the same poll supported replacing the death penalty and using the money saved for crime prevention.

The economy will clearly play a role for Idaho's Dept. of Correction budget, the third largest in the state, when a spending plan is hammered out by the Idaho legislature, which convenes in a matter of days. The current budget for the department stands at $145.7 million from Idaho general funds (BW, News, "From the Inside Looking Out," Nov. 10, 2010).

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