• Share
  • Read Later
: Fifty six people were put to death in the United States in 1995, more than in any single year since 1957, according to a report issued by The Death Penalty Information Center. The Washington-based research group said that there are now 3,000 men and women are on death rows across the country. Thirty-eight states have death penalty laws and sixteen of them executed prisoners this year. Texas was by far the leader in putting inmates to death, with nineteen executions this year. Missouri was second with six. The 56 executions in 1995 was a substantial jump from previous years: there were 31 in 1994, 38 in 1993, 31 in 1992, 14 in 1991 and 23 in 1990. During the 1950's, the Center reports, the average number of executions per year was 71.7. "We're likely to see more executions in the future," reports TIME's Lisa Towle. "Law abiding Americans seem to be tired of what is perceived as the rights of criminals superceding the rights of victims and victims' families. And the rhetoric coming out of state legislatures and Washington reflects this. People also don't want more of their tax dollars spent on keeping inmates behind bars, so they are seeking other solutions; one, albeit an oversimplified one, is the death penalty."