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In the wake of several high-profile capital punishment cases, the death penalty is once again becoming a hot button political issue.

And while the number of death sentences per year has dropped over the last decade, the data paints an interesting picture that demands heavy analysis from both sides of the issue.

See also: Do You Agree With The Death Penalty?

The South is the regional leader in executions with 1,040 total since 1976, but Texas and Virginia combined have more than half that with 583. The Midwest tallies 149, the West 74, and the Northeast a mere four (the Northeast has the lowest murder rate in the country, while the South has the highest).



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