Regardless of whether California voters repeal the death penalty this year, the nation as a whole is trending away from it. Though death sentences remain legal in most states, actual executions are very rare in most of the country. According to a 2011 study by the Death Penalty Information Center, 32 U.S. jurisdictions — including California — executed no one in the previous 5 years and more than half of those jurisdictions executed no one after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976. Just 12 states executed someone in 2010, only 7 of which executed more than one person.
Over one-third of all U.S. executions took place in just one state — Texas.