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Ł Colorado becomes 22nd state to abolish death penalty Ł Reform prosecutors gain footholds in formerly heavy-use death penalty counties Ł Fewest new death sentences in modern era; state executions lowest in 37 years Ł Federal government resumes executions with outlier practices, conducts more executions than all states combined Ł COVID-19 pandemic halts many executions and court proceedings; federal executions spark outbreaks 0204060801002020201520102005200019951990198519801977Peak: 98 in 1999 17 in 202081 05010015020025030035020202015201020052000199519901985198019751973Peak: 315 in 1996 18 in 2020297

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2020 was abnormal in almost every way, and that was clearly the case when it came to capital punishment in the United States. ˜e interplay of four forces shaped the U.S. death penalty landscape in 2020: the nation™s long – term trend away from capital punishment; the worst global pandemic in more than a century; nationwide protests for racial justice; and the historically aberrant conduct of the federal administration. At the end of the year, more states had abolished the death penalty or gone ten years without an execution, more counties had elected reform prosecutors who pledged never to seek the death penalty or to use it more sparingly; fewer new death sentences were imposed than in any prior year since the Supreme Court struck down U.S. death penalty laws in 1972; and despite a six – month spree of federal executions without parallel in the 20 th or 21 st centuries, fewer executions were carried out than in any year in nearly three decades. ˜e historically low numbers of death sentences and executions were unquestionably a˚ected by court closures and public health con -cerns related to the coronavirus. But even before the pandemic struck, the death sentences and executions in the ˛rst quarter of the year had put the United States on pace for a sixth consecutive year of 50 or fewer new death sentences and 30 or fewer executions. ˜e execution numbers also were skewed by a rash of executions that marked the fed -eral government™s death – penalty practices as an outlier, as for the ˛rst time in the history of the country, the federal government conducted more civilian executions than all of the states of the union combined. ˜e erosion of capital punishment at the state and county level continued in 2020, led by Colorado™s abolition of the death penalty. Two more states Š Louisiana and Utah Š reached ten years with no executions. With those actions, more than two – thirds of the United States (34 states) have now either abolished capital punishment (22 states) or not carried out an execution in at least ten years (another 12 states). ˜e year™s executions were geographically isolated, with just ˛ve states, four of them in the South, performing any executions this year. ˜e Gallup poll found public support for the death penalty near a half – century low, with opposition at its highest level since the 1960s. Local voters, particularly in urban centers and college towns, rejected mass incarceration and harsh punishments, electing new anti – death – penalty district attorneys in counties constituting 12% of the current U.S. death – row population. A majority (59%) of all executions this year were conducted by the federal government, which in less than six months carried out more federal civilian executions than any prior president in the 20th or 21st centuries, Republican or Democratic, had authorized in any prior calendar year. ˜e Trump administration performed the ˛rst lame – duck federal execution in more than a century, while scheduling ƒƒ ^ * ⁄⁄^ * ƒ ⁄

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more transition – period executions than in any prior presidential transition in the history of the United States. ˜e executions re˝ected systemic problems in the application of capital punishment and drew widespread opposition from prosecutors, victims™ families, Native American leaders, religious leaders, regulatory law experts, and European Union o˙cials. In addition to the legal issues, the executions also presented public health problems, likely sparking an outbreak in a federal prison, infecting members of the execution teams, and causing two federal defense attorneys to contract COVID – 19.Death sentences, which were on pace for sustained low levels prior to the pandemic, plunged to a record low of 18. While the resumption of trials delayed by the pandemic may arti˛cially increase the number of death verdicts over the next year or two, the budget strain caused by the pandemic and the need for courtroom space to conduct backlogged non – capital trials and maintaining a functioning court system may force states to reconsider the value and viability of pursuing expensive capital trials. Executions and new death sentences in 2020 continued to be directed at defendants and prisoners who were the most vulnerable or who had the most defective court process. Every prisoner executed in 2020 had one or more signi˛cant mental or emotional impairments (mental illness, intellectual disability, brain damage, or chronic trauma) or was under age 21 at the time of the crime for which he was executed. ˜e executed included several prisoners whose more culpable co – defendants received lesser sentences, a prisoner who was denied potentially exculpatory DNA testing, and prisoners whose executions were opposed by victims™ families. Of those who were sentenced to death this year, more than 20% waived key procedural rights, including their rights to counsel and/or a jury trial, and three strenuously proclaimed their innocence. Five prisoners were exonerated from death row in 2020. In each of the ˛ve cases, prosecutorial mis -conduct had contributed to the wrongful conviction. ˜e men exonerated this year spent between 14 and 37 years awaiting exoneration. ˜ree of them faced multiple trials, despite evidence of their inno -cence, and one Š Curtis Flowers Š was tried six times for the same crime. Pennsylvania exoneree Walter Ogrod contracted COVID – 19 and was denied transport to an independent hospital while he waited for a hearing on whether he would be freed. States with a Governor-imposed moratorium States without the death penalty States with the death penalty

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Landmark state court decisions re˝ected arbitrariness and bias in the application of capital pun -ishment. ˜e North Carolina Supreme Court issued several rulings overturning the state legislature™s attempt to retroactively repeal the state™s Racial Justice Act. ˜e rulings reinstated life sentences for three former death – row prisoners and paved the way for approximately 140 to obtain hearings on the impact of race discrimination in their cases. A Florida Supreme Court reconstituted aˆer mandatory retirements with activist judges from the Federalist Society, eliminated constitutional and statutory protections for capital defendants and death – row prisoners on four di˚erent occasions, but stopped short of taking away resentencing trials for up to 100 prisoners whose death sentences had previously been overturned. ˜e death penalty has been plagued by inequity and injustice throughout its history, but those prob -lems came into stark focus this year as the pandemic and the protests against police violence highlighted the same disparities throughout our national institutions. As the United States engaged in a nationwide conversation about systemic racism, access to resources, and failures of federal leadership, capital pun -ishment mirrored those faults through its racially biased application, inadequate legal protections, and outlier practices by the federal government. Death penalty developments at the state and county level continued the long – term national trend away from capital punishment, as another state abolished the death penalty, two others reached land -marks without executions, and more reform prosecutors gained footholds in formerly heavy – use counties. In 2020, Colorado became the 22 nd state to abolish the death penalty, while Louisiana and Utah each reached 10 years with no executions. As a consequence, more than two – thirds of the country Š 34 states Š have either abolished capital punishment or have not carried out an execution in more than a decade. Oklahoma , the state that has carried out the third – most executions in the modern era, marked ˛ve years since its last execution. Legislative and judicial actions in California , North Carolina , Ohio, and Virginia also signaled the withering of capital punishment, even in high – use states. On March 23, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed legislation abolishing the death penalty for all future o˚enses. Governor Polis also commuted the death sentences of the three prisoners on the state™s death row to life without parole. All three of the state™s death row pris -oners were Black, and Polis noted the racial disparity in his statement on the commutations. ˜e commutations, he said, were ficonsistent with the abolition of the death penalty in the State of Colorado, and consistent with the recognition that the death penalty cannot be, and never has been, administered equitably in the State of Colorado.fl Two capital prosecutions were pending at the time of abolition but, facing criticism of the futility and wastefulness of the post – abolition pursuit of capital sanctions, the prosecutors dropped the death penalty in both cases. ˜e pronounced decline of capital punishment in the western U.S. was evident not only in Colorado™s abolition, but also in Utah™s mile -stone of ten years with no executions. ˜e last execution carried out in Utah was on June 18, 2010, when Ronnie Gardner was executed by ˛ring squad. With this anniversary, only two of the eleven states west of Texas Š Arizona and Idaho Š still have a death penalty and have carried out an execution in the last decade. Louisiana also marked ten Colorado Go˜ernor Jared Polis

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years without an execution, reaching that anniversary on January 7. Twelve of the 28 states (42.9%) that continue to authorize capital punishment have not executed anyone in at least ten years. Oklahoma , the nation™s third most proli˛c execution state, reached ˛ve years with no executions on January 15. ˜e state™s last three executions were botched or bungled, and the state placed executions on hold aˆer using the wrong drug in the January 15, 2015 execution of Charles Warner and procuring the same wrong drug for the aborted September 30, 2015 execution of Richard Glossip . Just a month aˆer the anniversary of Warner™s execution, the state announced plans to resume executions using the same controversial three – drug protocol that contributed to the string of problematic executions in 2014 and 2015. Litigation is ongoing as death – row prisoners challenge the state™s firisky and incompletefl lethal – in -jection protocol, which provided no clear plan for addressing the fisigni˛cant ˝awsfl in training practices identi˛ed by the state™s independent Death Penalty Review Commission. California passed a package of criminal legal reform legislation in August, intended to address racial disparities in the legal system. One bill amends California™s death penalty intellectual disability statute to prohibit the use of race – based IQ adjustments in determining a defen -dant™s or death – row prisoner™s eligibility for the death penalty; another is directed at racial, ethnic, religious, and gender discrimination in jury selection; and a third Š the California Racial Justice Act Š seeks to combat racial discrimination in criminal prosecutions and sentencing. ˜e latter two bills apply not only in death – penalty cases, but aim to redress racial bias in any criminal case. ˜e California Racial Justice Act, like the since – repealed North Carolina Racial Justice Act, allows prisoners to use statistical evidence of racial bias to challenge their sentences. California Governor Gavin Newsom took further action to tackle racial injustice in the use of the death penalty when he became the ˛rst sitting governor in California history to ˛le a friend – of – the – court brief ficalling attention to the unfair and uneven application of the death penalty.fl In support of the capital appeal of Don™te Lamont McDaniel, Governor Newsom™s brief stated, fiSince its inception, the American death penalty has been disproportionately applied, ˛rst, to enslaved Africans and African Americans, and, later to free Black people. With this ˛ling, we make clear that all Californians deserve the same right to a jury trial that is fair, and that it is a matter of life and death.fl ˜e North Carolina Racial Justice Act (RJA), which was passed in 2009, but watered down in 2012 and repealed in 2013, was also in the news in 2020. In a pair of rulings on June 5, the North Carolina Supreme Court struck down the state legislature™s attempted retroactive amendment and repeal of the act, restoring the rights of approximately 140 death – row prisoners to challenge death sentences they claimed were substantially a˚ected by racial bias. ˜e rulings in the cases of Andrew Ramseur and Rayford Burke held that fithe retroactive application of the RJA Repeal violates the prohibition against ex post facto laws under the United States and North Carolina Constitutions.fl It remanded their cases to the trial court to conduct hearings to determine whether their death sentences violated the Racial Justice Act. If the defendants win their challenges, they will be resentenced to life without parole. In three decisions issued on September 25, 2020, the court extended its ruling, directing that prisoners who had proven that their death sentences violated the RJA must be resentenced to life imprisonment with -out possibility of parole. ˜e court ruled that resentencing Christina Walters , ˜uintel Augustine , and Tilmon Golphin to death aˆer they had established their entitlement to a life sentence under the RJA California Go˜ernor Gavin Newsom

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violated constitutional principles of double jeopardy and prohibitions against aˆer – the – fact enhance -ments of punishment, and it restored their life sentences. A series of Florida Supreme Court decisions stripped protec -tions from criminal defendants and death – row prisoners. In January, the court™s decision in State v. Poole reinstated a death sentence imposed on Mark Anthony Poole in 2011 aˆer a non – unanimous jury had voted to recommend the death penalty. Applying the court™s 2016 ruling in Hurst v. State , a Polk County trial court had over -turned Poole™s death sentence and ordered a new sentencing hearing. fiOur court – got it wrong,fl the justices said, when it ruled in 2016 that death sentences imposed aˆer non – unanimous jury recommen -dations for death violated the state and federal constitutions. ˜e court™s composition changed drastically in 2019 when three liberal and moderate justices reached mandatory retirement age and were replaced with arch – conservative jurists. Prosecutors sought to apply the Poole ruling to the more than 100 death – row prisoners who had received ˛nal orders reversing their death sentences, but who had not yet completed a new sentencing hearing. On November 25, the court unanimously rebu˜ed those attempts, saying it did not have the power to reinstate those death sentences. In addition to its decision in Poole , the court also abandoned a century – old standard for heightened review in cases in which a conviction rested solely on circumstantial evidence , limited enforcement of a U.S. Supreme Court case that bars execution of intellectually disabled prisoners , and declared the 50 – year – old capital appeal safeguard of proportionality review to be unconstitutional. In Virginia, legislation reversed an earlier lethal – injection secrecy policy by making the identity of lethal – injection drug suppliers public information subject to disclosure under the state Freedom of Information Act and in civil legal proceedings. With strong bipartisan support, the Virginia Senate also passed a bill to bar the death penalty for individuals who were severely mentally ill at the time of the crime. ˜e measure did not make it out of a House subcommittee. A similar measure passed the Ohio House by a 76 – 17 margin, and an amended version passed the Senate in December by a vote of 27 – 3. As this report went to press, the bill had returned to the House for ˛nal approval. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued reprieves postponing 11 scheduled executions, citing the state™s inability to obtain execution drugs without placing its supplies of medicines for therapeutic purposes at risk. In an end – of – year news conference, DeWine said that he no longer considered lethal injection a viable method of execution in the state. In counties across the country, local voters, particularly in urban centers and college towns, brought the national reckoning on racial justice to the ballot box, rejecting mass incarceration and harsh punish -ments in favor of reform prosecutors. At least nine major counties elected new district attorneys who pledged never to pursue the death penalty or to use it only very sparingly. ˜e movement was led by the election of George Gascón in Los Angeles County, home of the nation™s largest death row. Within hours of being sworn in, Gascón issued directives to halt all capital prosecutions and to review on an individualized basis the cases of the more than 200 prisoners on the county™s death row. New reform prosecutors also were elected in Fulton and Gwinnett counties (Atlanta, Athens) in Georgia; Pima County (Tucson), Arizona; Orleans Parish (New Orleans), Louisiana; Travis County (Austin), Texas; Orange – Osceola Counties (Orlando), Florida; Multnomah County (Portland), Oregon; and Franklin County (Columbus), Ohio. Collectively, those counties comprised 12% of the current U.S. death – row population.

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family members, trial or appellate prosecutors in the cases, and at least one of the judges who presided at trial. ˜e planned execution of Lisa Montgomery , who would have been the ˛rst woman executed by the federal government in 70 years, was delayed when her legal team contracted COVID – 19 aˆer traveling to meet with her and could not com -plete her clemency petition. A coalition of more than 1,000 advocates had called for clemency for Montgomery, who is severely mentally ill as a result of horri˛c abuse throughout her childhood, including being sexually tra˙cked. ˜e timeline of executions Š enabled by U.S. Supreme Court rulings refusing to protect the integrity of judicial review Š arti˛cially limited the federal courts™ ability to consider prisoners™ claims, including challenges to the federal execution protocol. ˜e Department of Justice announced the ˛rst four execution dates while lethal – injection litigation was still pending in federal court in a case that had previously halted federal executions scheduled in 2019. In the hours leading up to the scheduled execution of Daniel Lewis Lee on July 13, a federal district court in Washington, D.C. issued a preliminary injunction barring all four scheduled federal executions on the grounds that the prisoners were likely to prevail on their challenge to the constitutionality of the execution protocol. Federal prosecutors ˛led simultaneous motions in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and the United States Supreme Court seeking to vacate the injunction. As the midnight deadline approached, the appeals court denied the motion, and set an expedited brie˛ng schedule to consider the merits of the district court™s ruling. ˜at sched -ule, however, extended beyond July 17, e˚ectively halting the ˛rst three scheduled executions. In a 5 – 4 decision issued at 2:30 a.m. on July 14, the U.S. Supreme Court wrote that last – minute stay applications were disfavored and that the pris -oners had not met the fiexceedingly high barfl of establishing that they could show that executions using pentobarbital constitute cruel and unusual punishment. Because the execution of Wesley Purkey was scheduled just two days aˆer Lee™s, a similarly chaotic series of rulings preceded his execution, with a stay again being liˆed by the U.S. Supreme Court in the middle of the night. In both cases, the government leˆ no opportunity to challenge the notice it provid -ed of an immediate morning execution aˆer the original death notice expired. For more details on the rushed executions of Lee, Purkey, and Dustin Honken , read DPIC™s report, ˚e Federal Government Restarts Federal Executions Amid Procedural Concerns and a Pandemic .Lee and nine other prisoners were executed despite lower federal court rulings that at least one portion of the execution protocol violates federal law. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court has permitted the executions to go forward. On September 20, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that the execution protocol violates the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act™s premarketing, labeling, and prescription requirements. However, it did not grant a stay on those grounds, allowing the govern -ment to proceed with executions using an illegal protocol. ˜e executions of Orlando Hall , Brandon Bernard , and Alfred Bourgeois , carried out in the lame – duck period between the November 3 election and the inauguration of President – elect Joe Biden, marked a stark departure from presidential norms. Orlando Hall was the ˛rst person exe -cuted by a lame – duck president in more than a century. No administration Lisa Montgomery Daniel Lee Orlando Hall

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since Grover Cleveland™s ˛rst presidency in 1888 – 1889 had ever carried out multiple transition – period executions. ˜ree weeks aˆer President Trump lost the election, his Justice Department proceeded to set three new execution dates, announce new capital prosecutions it would not be in a position to pursue, and issue a new execution protocol that in certain circumstances could permit the use of controversial back – up methods of execution authorized by some states, including electrocution, hanging, ˛ring squad, and lethal gas. Records uncovered in early December revealed that the Bureau of Prisons sought a no – bid contract for pentobarbital, claiming it was justi˛ed under an exception for cases fiof such an unusual and compelling urgency that the Government would be seriously injuredfl if it had to open the contract to competitive bidding. With an incoming administration that has expressed an intention to end the federal death penalty, the Trump administration™s steps to ramp up executions and promulgate a more relaxed regulatory regime for executions seemed particularly spiteful and out – of – step. DEATH SENTENCES 1973 Œ 2020050100150200250300350202020152010200520001995199019851980197519733 Year Trend 5 Year Trend 10 Year Trend EXECUTIONS 1977 Œ 202002040608010020202015201020052000199519901985198019773 Year Trend 5 Year Trend 10 Year Trend

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Driven by the combined e˚ects of a global pandemic and the continuing decline in public support for capital punishment, new death sentences and executions reached historic lows in 2020. ˜ough the COVID – 19 pandemic had a signi˛cant impact on both sentences and executions, the U.S. was poised for its sixth consecutive year with 50 or fewer new death sentences and 30 or fewer executions even before the pandemic shut down court pro -ceedings nationwide. Fewer new death sentences were imposed in the United States in 2020 than in any other year since the Supreme Court struck down all existing capital punishments statutes in the U.S. in 1972. With counties unable to safely conduct capital trials, states imposed a record low 18 new death sentences, 42% below the previous record low of 31 set in 2016. Most of these sentences (11) were imposed in the ˛rst three months of 2020, before courts across the country halted trials as a precaution against the pandemic. Nearly all the death sentences im -posed aˆer that time involved judge – only proceedings, consisting of court decisions formally accepting pre – pandemic jury sentencing recommendations or trials in which a defendant waived the right to a jury. The death sentences that were imposed January through March 2020 put the nation on pace for a sixth consecutive year of fewer than 50 death sentences, a sustained decline of more than 85% from the peak death – sentencing years of the mid – 1990s. ˜e temporary closing of courts at the beginning of the pandemic produced the longest stretch of time without a new death sentence since capital punishment was reinstated aˆer Furman . From March to May, 66 days passed without a death sentence being imposed. Seventeen people were executed in 2020, ten of whom (59%) were executed by the federal gov -ernment. DPIC™s analysis of historical execution databases indicated that it was the ˛rst time in American history that the federal government had executed more prisoners that all of the states com -bined. Just ˛ve states conducted executions, and only Texas carried out more than one. Despite the historically unprecedented federal execution spree, the nationwide total of executions was the lowest in nearly three decades, since eight states carried

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out fourteen executions in 1991. States carried out the fewest executions in 37 years, when ˛ve states executed one prisoner each in 1983. ˜e racial disparities re˝ected in this year™s ex -ecutions continue decades – long trends. Nearly half of the 17 defendants executed in 2020 were people of color (5 Black, 1 Latinx, 1 Native American). Seventy – six percent of the executions were for the deaths of white victims. Only seven states Š Alabama, California, Florida, Mississippi, Ohio, Oklahoma, and Texas Š imposed new death sentences this year, and just three Š California, Florida, and Texas Š imposed more than one. Texas was the only state that both imposed a death sentence and conducted an execution in 2020. Six of the ten federal executions carried out were from death sentences imposed by juries in just two states Š Texas (4) and Missouri (2). Only two counties in the United States Š Riverside, California (3 sentences) and Lafayette, Florida (2 sentences) Š imposed more than one death sentence, and the Lafayette death sentences were the product of a single trial in which both defendants pled guilty, waived a sentencing jury, represented themselves, and presented no case for life. ˜is was the third time in the last ˛ve years that Riverside County led the nation in death sentences. ˜e ˛ˆeen counties that imposed death sentences represent less than half of one percent of all U.S. counties. Nearly three – quarters (73%) of execution dates scheduled in 2020 were halted in some way. Of the 62 dates scheduled this year, only 17 were carried out. One execution Š that of Jimmy Meders in Georgia Š was halted by commutation. Nineteen executions were stayed. Sixteen executions were halted by reprieve, 14 of which were Ohio executions delayed because of problems with the state™s execution protocol. ˜e other two reprieves came in cases in which Tennessee Governor Bill Lee delayed executions as a result of pandemic – related concerns. Nine execu -tion warrants were withdrawn, removed, or rescheduled. Six of the stays cited the COVID – 19 pandemic and its impacts on the legal

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