WASHINGTON (Nov. 7, 2019) – In the last five years, only one death sentence has been handed down by a jury in Georgia. Yet alleged perpetrators can still be sentenced to death in the state, despite support for the death penalty nearing historic lows. Earlier this year, Georgia’s Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee Rep. Brett Harrell (R-Snellville) introduced a bipartisan death penalty repeal bill that will likely receive a hearing at the start of the next legislative session.

In a new policy short, R Street Director of State Government Affairs Marc Hyden and Director of Criminal Justice and Civil Liberties Arthur Rizer find that capital punishment is quickly dwindling in Georgia and recognize that support for the death penalty is diminishing for several reasons, including capital punishment’s inherent risk to innocent life, high costs and failure to adequately protect society.

The authors conclude that, given the death penalty’s shortcomings, the Georgia legislature ought to debate its repeal.