The South and the death penalty

April 21, 2012 in The Question by Teri-Hayslett

Connecticut this week became the 17th state – and the 5th in five years – to eliminate the death penalty in future prosecutions.

Thirty-three states continue to impose the death penalty, including all Southern states. Since executions resumed in 1976, there have been 1,060 in the South, 229 in other parts of the country. According to a recent NYT article, “the death penalty map is beginning to resemble the familiar red state-blue state one.”

Is imposition of the death penalty a political/partisan matter or a religious/moral matter? Why is the death penalty largely being carried out in the South? Should Tennessee abolish the death penalty?