Advocacy campaigns to eliminate the death penalty in the United States have made significant advances in recent years. Death sentences have been outlawed in five states since 2001, and even in the thirty-four states where they are still allowed, many states have not carried out an execution in years. Still, the United States keeps terrible company with other nations including China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, ranking fifth worldwide in the number of executions in 2011. In that year, the United States was the only western democracy to carry out executions.
Tinkering with Life: A Look at the Inappropriateness of Life Without Parole as an Alternative to the Death Penalty explores the use of life without parole as an alternative sentence to the death penalty. There are currently more than 41,000 individuals serving life without parole sentences nationwide, representing a 300% increase over the past two decades.
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