Despite the rise of violent crime in recent years, the incidence of death sentences and executions remains at record lows and public support for capital punishment is at its lowest since the 1970s. The federal government has not executed anyone since Jan. 16, 2021, shortly before Donald Trump left the White House. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the decline in death sentences by causing courts to postpone trials. The number of sentences is likely to rise as the pandemic recedes and the courts dig into their case backlogs, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. This year is on track to become the eighth in a row with fewer than 30 executions and 50 death sentences.