United States of America: Developments on the death penalty during 1993
Over 2700 prisoners were under death sentence in 36 states of the USA at the end of 1993. Thirty eight prisoners were executed, more than in any year since states revised their death penalty statutes in the mid-1970s. Since 1977 226 people have been executed in the USA. Racial discrimination in the use of the death penalty continued to be a major concern: 88% of those executed in 1993 had been convicted of the murder of white victims and half those executed were of African-American or Latin-American origin. Four juvenile offenders were executed in 1993, as were several people who had suffered from mental illness or were mentally retarded. AI is also concerned about the competence in some cases of legal representation of capital defendants. State legislative developments relevant to the death penalty are summarized and statistics are provided for executions in the USA 1977 to 1993.