The current increase in executions in Mississippi runs counter to the trend across the country where fewer people are sentenced to death. Many experts don’t believe the state’s trend is likely to continue. Some believe this recent large number has to do with timing and the appeals process and not a sign of a large increase in the use of the death penalty in the state.
The state went for a number of years without any executions thanks to the lengthy court process. There were two executions last year, three in 2010, none in 2009 and two in 2008. There have also been somewhat lengthy lulls in executions over the years due to court challenges. Gaps existed between 1964 and 1983 and again from 1989 to 2002.
For 2012, Mississippi is only one execution behind Texas. Texas, however, has several more executions scheduled for the remainder of the year than Mississippi does. Since 1976 Texas has put to death some 460 more people than Mississippi though Texas has a much larger population.
Currently, some 52 inmates sit on Mississippi’s death row, ranking the state at number 15 across the country. Two of the inmates are women though it has been decades since a woman was actually put to death. California has the most inmates with a total of 723.
The Mississippi Office of Capital Post-Conviction Counsel, which handles many of the appeals of those on death row, is stretched thin and has very few resources at its disposal despite a pressing caseload. It’s terrible to think that a person could die because they lack the resources to secure capable representation. If you’ve been involved in something that requires the skill of an experienced Mississippi criminal defense lawyer, please contact Stroud, Flechas & Dalton soon.
Source: “Mississippi on pace to execute more inmates in 2012 than in any single year since 1950s,” by The Associated Press, published at TheRepublic.com.