A confluence of events caused October to be the first month in 3 years that the United States didn't execute someone. A month off from this barbaric practice is a month well spent.
Support for the death penalty remains strong in the United States, one of only a handful of democracies that still carries out capital punishment.
Let's make every day Christmas, and get rid of the death penalty altogether.
But the unofficial hold on executions comes amid a steep decline in the number of death sentences imposed and rising concern about wrongful convictions.
"All of this suggests that the death penalty is under a significant review in a way that we haven't had in almost four decades," said Jordan Steiker of the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.
October 2007 was the first October since 1989 without a U.S. execution and the first month without one since December 2004; December is a typically quiet month in the death chambers because of a reluctance to execute near Christmas.