Number of elderly on death row reaches record high.

Author:St. Gerard, Vanessa
Position::National News Briefs - Brief Article

A record 110 inmates age 60 and older were on death rows across the nation as of Dec. 31, 2003, the Bureau of Justice Statistics reported. According to USA Today, that number is nearly triple the 39 death row seniors that BJS counted nine years earlier. During the same period, the total number of inmates under death sentences rose 18.3 percent to 3,374.

Death row's elderly population has grown for a number of reasons. A few seniors are on death row because they committed aggravated murder at an unusually old age. Seventy-one-year-old Blanche Moore is the oldest of four elderly women on death row. She was convicted of killing a boyfriend with arsenic in 1990, when she was 57.

Many others are there because death penalty appeals can stretch for decades. The last senior citizen to be executed, Donald Beardslee of...

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