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US sees fewer executions in 2013, but 3,100 inmates still on death row

Published on Dec 19, 2013 1:23 PM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The past year has seen fewer executions and death sentences in the United States, where more than 3,100 inmates still linger on death row, a non-profit group reported Thursday.

Thirty-nine executions were carried out in nine states, down from 43 last year and only the second time in 19 years there have been fewer than 40 executions, the Death Penalty Information Centre said.

Eighty death sentences were handed down, two more than last year but still far below the peak of 315 seen in 1994 and 1996.

"The key reason for the decline in the death penalty has been the revelation of so many mistakes," said the centre's executive director Richard Dieter.

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