WASHINGTON - The number of death sentences handed down in the United States this year was at or near a three-decade low, and the number of people executed will be the lowest since 1994, according to a report.
The nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, which opposes the death penalty, reports 37 executions in 2008, with no more expected for the rest of the year. That is down from 42 in 2007. The previous lowest annual number was 31 in 1994.
There were no executions this year in Pennsylvania and Delaware; New Jersey does not have the death penalty.
The center estimates the total number of death sentences this year at 111. That is on par with the 115 death sentences imposed in 2007, which represented a 30-year low. It is more than a 60 percent drop from 1998.