Within the last 25 years, statewide execution rates across America have reached a new low. This year, a total of 20 people received the death penalty, a startling amount, with two states, Texas and Georgia representing 80% of all executions in the last year. Furthermore, 31 states have not executed a single person in over 10 years.
A prime reason for the decline of executions in the past year has been the ban on the drugs used for lethal injection, the chief method used to perform capital punishment in America. Pfitzer, Inc. (NYSE:PFE), the premier US pharmaceutical organization, banned the sales of lethal injection drug compounds in 2016, forcing states to rely on statewide pharmaceutical companies to mix the drug by hand, further increasing the difficulty in acquiring the drugs.
Although capital punishment is legal in 31 states, many have imposed moratoriums on capital punishment. Many believe that constitutional abolition of capital punishment in the years to come will soon follow. Some states have even begun to look into whether or not the execution of an inmate after a prolonged period of imprisonment violates the constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment, as seen in the recent case of Moore v. Texas.