Q: Does Oklahoma still execute more people per capita than the rest of the nation?
A: Oklahoma remains a state that is more inclined to impose the death penalty than almost all other states. According to the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks executions, Oklahoma had the highest per capita rate of executions from 1976 through mid-2011, with 0.256 executions per 10,000 population. The state put 96 criminals to death. Texas had the second highest rate and the largest number, executing 472.
Richard Dieter, executive director of the death-penalty center, said the center hasn't updated its cumulative execution rates recently, but Oklahoma's No. 1 ranking likely still stands.
Oklahoma Watch took a closer look at the center's and Oklahoma Department of Corrections' 2011 and 2012 execution data and found that the state's execution rate remains relatively high, although the rate is much lower than it was during the 1976-to-2011 period.
Last year, Oklahoma executed six people, giving it the third highest rate among the nine states that carried out executions. Oklahoma's rate was 0.02 executions per 10,000 population. In 2011, among the 13 states with executions, Oklahoma's rate was sixth highest, at 0.005.
So far this year, one man has been executed in Oklahoma, on March 12: Steven Ray Hacker, 42, who in 2002 pleaded guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of Laci Dawn Hill, 25, of Bixby.