In an article written by Gretchen Engle, Executive Director of the Center for Death Penalty Litigation, Engle deconstructs the myth that the death penalty punishes the “worst of the worst” offenders. The article explains that instead, death sentences are imposed in the following ways:
  • As part of an era in which more than three-quarters of the 147 people on death row were sentenced. This occurred more than 15 years ago, during which prosecutors were required to seek the death penalty in every first-degree murder case with an aggravating factor. Prosecutors themselves were among those who recommended this law be changed, and it was in 2001.
  • In order to pressure defendants to accept pleas to life sentences

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