This chart compares the number and relative proportion of executions carried out in Texas, the non-Texas South, and the rest of the nation. Trend lines from 1876 to 2003 trace the increase through the mid-1930s in the number of executions nationally, regionally, and in Texas. From 1936 to 1966 the number of executions in each area dropped significantly. From 1968 to 1976, under pressure from court scrutiny of the rights of the criminally accused and litigation over the constitutionality of the death penalty, executions ceased completely. Since 1983, following the Supreme Court's 1972 ruling that the death penalty is constitutional, provided sufficient care is taken to guard the rights of the accused, executions have steadily increased. This increase is largely the result of a push for capital punishment centered in Texas and a few other, mostly southern states. The trend lines are stacked to show both the total number of executions each year in Texas, the South, and other states, and the relative proportion of all executions accounted for by each of these areas. Since the reinstitution of capital punishment in 1977 Texas stands out as a leading dispenser of death.