USA: Death penalty developments in 1996
At the end of 1996 over 3,150 prisoners were under sentence of death in 34 states, another ten under US federal civilian law and nine under US military law. Forty-five prisoners were executed in 19 states in 1996. This report details Amnesty International's concerns at the continued and extensive use of the death penalty. These concerns include the risk of executing the innocent, the use of the death penalty as a political tool, the infliction of the death penalty on the mentally ill, the cruelty of execution methods and the involvement of medical professionals in executions, state and federal initiatives to speed the appeal process for condemned prisoners and the extradition of prisoners to the USA in capital cases. Amnesty International also notes and welcomes the granting of clemency in three cases.