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I co-founded the Prison Policy Initiative to put the problem of mass incarceration — and the perverse incentives that fuel it — on the national agenda. Over the last 16 years, our campaigns have protected our democracy from the prison system and protected the poorest families in this country from the predatory prison telephone industry. Our reports untangle the statistics and recruit new allies.

But now, more than ever, we need your help to put data & compassion into the conversation. Any gift you can make today will be matched by other donors and go twice as far.

Thank you.
—Peter Wagner, Executive DirectorDonate
Graph showing that most U.S. residents live in places that have not used the death penalty recently

Data Source: Created from data compiled by Justice Breyer in Glossip v. Gross, 576 U. S. ____, No.14-7955 slip op., dissenting opinion of Breyer, J. at 44, Appendix C (June 29, 2015). (Graph: Rachel Gandy, 2015)

This graph originally appeared in Justice Breyer puts a new spin to the decades-old death penalty debate.

The death penalty is on its way out. The portion of the country that lives in a state where the death penalty was recently used has been in consistent decline for 15 years. In 1999, 70% of the U.S. population lived in a state that used the death penalty within the last three years, but by 2014, only 33% of the U.S. population lived in such a state.

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