- The Washington Times - Monday, December 16, 2002

Federal and state executions were down and fewer prisoners were sentenced to death in 2001, according to U.S. government statistics released yesterday.
The federal government and 15 states executed 66 prisoners in 2001, 19 fewer than in 2000, according to the Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics.
In addition, 155 inmates were sent to death row in 2001, "the smallest number of admissions since 1973 when 44 persons were admitted," the Justice Department officials said in a statement.
The move from a prison's general inmate population to the isolated death row is done once an execution date has been set, but does not preclude further appeals.
It was the third consecutive year in which death row admissions dropped 304 inmates were admitted in 1998, 282 in 1999 and 229 in 2000.
The figures, updated as of Dec. 31, 2001, show that the 63 men and three women executed included 48 whites, 17 blacks and one American Indian.
All were executed by injection, and on average spent 11 years and 10 months on death row, five months longer than those executed during 2000.
And 3,581 inmates were sentenced to death in 2001, 20 fewer than in 2000, according to the figures.
Among the 38 U.S. states that have capital punishment, California has 603 inmates on death row, followed by Texas with 453, Florida with 372 and Pennsylvania with 241.
Twelve of the 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, do not have capital punishment.
The ages of death row inmates ranged from 19 to 86.
"Seventy-seven of the 3,311 inmates for whom the date of arrest was available were 17 or younger at the time of the arrest," according to the report.
Preliminary data for 2002 up to Dec. 11 show states executed 68 prisoners. All, except an inmate in Alabama who was electrocuted, were killed by injection, according to the figures.
During 2001, 10 states also revised their death penalty laws, with five states excluding mentally retarded offenders from execution and two adding aggravating circumstances to their existing statutes.

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