Virtual space: Just the facts, ma'am

Online jurisprudent

The Justice Department posts reams of data about the state of the nation's criminal justice'and plain ol' criminals, too. For instance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics' at-a-glance site offers up details on capital punishment. Between 1930 and 1947, executions averaged 151 per year. The number of executions began to drop off in 1948, declining steadily to zero in 1968. No executions were carried out again until 1977. In 1984, the number began to inch up and then jumped from 45 in 1996 to 74 in 1997. The most recent peak came in 1999, when there were 98 executions. To get the facts, go to and enter 399 in the box.

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