Death Sentence Drop

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A jury still has to decide if Scott Peterson should be sentenced to death, but nationally there is a drop in the number of people sentenced to death.

The federal government reports the death sentence in the United States reached a 30-year low in 2003. The death row population fell for the third year in a row.

Illinois accounted for 91 percent of the decline. The number is a result of then-Gov. George Ryan's decision just before leaving office in January 2003.

Ryan decided to commute the death sentences of 167 inmates to life in prison.