2016 will set a record for the fewest death sentences in recent times. Only 30 people received the death penalty this year, the lowest since 1970, and a sharp move from 49 death sentences last year, and from 315 death sentences in 1996.
In addition, although 30 people were sentenced to death this year, only 20 people were executed this year. this is due to a shifting in public opinion. Juries seem more and more reluctant to sentence people convicted of serious crimes to death, while life in prison is becoming a much more popular choice.