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Report: Belief death penalty is applied unfairly shows capital punishment’s growing isolation in US

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Report: Belief death penalty is applied unfairly shows capital punishment’s growing isolation in US

FILE - This undated file photo shows the gurney in the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas. An annual report released Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, on capital punishment says more Americans now believe the death penalty is administered unfairly. (Carlos Antonio Rios)/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)
FILE – This undated file photo shows the gurney in the death chamber in Huntsville, Texas. An annual report released Friday, Dec. 1, 2023, on capital punishment says more Americans now believe the death penalty is administered unfairly. (Carlos Antonio Rios)/Houston Chronicle via AP, File)

BY JUAN A. LOZANOUpdated 5:44 AM MST, December 1, 2023Share

HOUSTON (AP) — More Americans now believe the death penalty, which is undergoing a yearslong decline of use and support, is being administered unfairly, a finding that is adding to its growing isolation in the U.S., according to an annual report on capital punishment.

But whether the public’s waning support for the death penalty and the declining number of executions and death sentences will ultimately result in the abolition of capital punishment in the U.S. remains uncertain, experts said.

“There are some scholars who are optimistic the death penalty will be totally eradicated pretty soon,” said Eric Berger, a law professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. “I think what’s more likely is it’s going to continue to decline. But I think it’s less likely that in the foreseeable future it’ll totally disappear.”

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