Florida remains among the most active states in using capital punishment, and it put more defendants on death row in 2012 than any other state, says the Orlando Sentinel. The Death Penalty Information Center said only nine states executed a prisoner this year, with Florida putting three to death. Texas, with 15, executed the most defendants, the report states. However, the Sunshine State far exceeded other states in new death sentences: 21 defendants were sentenced to die in Florida through mid-December, more than twice Texas' figure for the same period.
Overall, the report found that death-penalty usage in 2012 "continued to decline, with fewer states endorsing capital punishment, relatively few death sentences being imposed, and executions being carried out at only half the rate of the late 1990s." Nationally, the number of death sentences in 2012 was the second-lowest since 1976. Florida, California, Texas and Pennsylvania accounted for 65 percent of new death sentences.