Death Row Inmates, 1953-2013


In 1953, death row had 131 inmates, and 62 of them (47.33%) were executed. In 2013, death row had grown to 2,979 inmates (a 2,174% increase), and 39 of them (1.30%) were executed.

The average time on death row more than doubled from 6 years and 2 months in 1984 to 15 years and 5 months in 2013. The primary reason inmates left death row is because their sentences or convictions were overturned (58.2%) and not because of execution (24.8%).

Our charts detail the number of death row inmates, executions, and average time in prison, as well as the primary reasons for removal from death row.


I. DEATH ROW INMATE EXECUTIONS, 1953-2013

Year Total Death
Row Inmates
Number of Inmates
Executed
Percentage of Death
Row Inmates Executed
Average Time from
Sentence to Execution
for All Inmates
 
1953 131 62 47.33% *
1954 147 81 55.1% *
1955 125 76 60.8% *
1956 146 65 44.52% *
1957 151 65 43.05% *
1958 147 49 33.33% *
1959 164 49 29.88% *
1960 212 56 26.42% *
1961 257 42 16.34% *
1962 267 47 17.60% *
1963 297 21 7.07% *
1964 315 15 4.76% *
1965 331 7 2.11% **
1966 406 1 0.25% **
1967 435 2 0.46% **
1968 517 0 0% **
1969 575 0 0% **
1970 631 0 0% **
1971 642 0 0% **
1972 334 0 0% **
1973 134 0 0% **
1974 244 0 0% **
1975 488 0 0% **
1976 420 0 0% **
1977 423 1 0.24% **
1978 482 0 0% **
1979 593 2 0.34% **
1980 682 0 0% **
1981 860 1 0.12% **
1982 1,066 2 0.19% **
1983 1,209 5 0.41% **
1984 1,420 21 1.48% 6 yrs. 2 mo.
1985 1,575 18 1.14% 5 yrs. 11 mo.
1986 1,800 18 1.00% 7 yrs. 3 mo.
1987 1,967 25 1.27% 7 yrs. 2 mo.
1988 2,117 11 0.52% 6 yrs. 8 mo.
1989 2,243 16 0.71% 7 yrs. 11 mo.
1990 2,346 23 0.98% 7 yrs. 11 mo.
1991 2,465 14 0.57% 9 yrs. 8 mo.
1992 2,580 31 1.20% 9 yrs. 6 mo.
1993 2,727 38 1.39% 9 yrs. 5 mo.
1994 2,905 31 1.07% 10 yrs. 2 mo.
1995 3,064 56 1.83% 11 yrs. 2 mo.
1996 3,242 45 1.39% 10 yrs. 5 mo.
1997 3,328 74 2.22% 11 yrs. 1 mo.
1998 3,465 68 1.96% 10 yrs. 10 mo.
1999 3,540 98 2.77% 11 yrs. 11 mo.
2000 3,601 85 2.36% 11 yrs. 5 mo.
2001 3,577 66 1.85% 11 yrs. 10 mo.
2002 3,562 71 1.99% 10 yrs. 7 mo.
2003 3,377 65 1.92% 10 yrs. 11 mo.
2004 3,320 59 1.78% 11 yrs.
2005 3,245 60 1.85% 12 yrs. 3 mo.
2006 3,233 53 1.64% 12 yrs. 1 mo.
2007 3,215 42 1.31% 12 yrs. 9 mo.
2008 3,210 37 1.15% 11 yrs. 7 mo.
2009 3,173 52 1.64% 14 yrs. 1 mo.
2010 3,139 46 1.47% 14 yrs. 10 mo.
2011 3,065 43 1.40% 16 yrs. 6 mo.
2012 3,011 43 1.43% 15 yrs. 10 mo.
2013 2,979 39 1.30% 15yrs. 6 mo.
Year Total Death
Row Inmates
Number of Inmates
Executed
Percentage of Death
Row Inmates Executed
Average Time from
Sentence to Execution
for All Inmates

* Averages are not available prior to 1965
** Averages not calculated by Department of Justice for fewer than 10 cases


II. DEATH ROW REMOVALS BY REASON, 1973-2013

Sentence or conviction overturned 3,194 58.2%
Executed 1,359 24.8%
Died by means other than execution 509 9.3%
Sentence commuted 392 7.1%
Other removals 33 0.6%
Total 5,487 100%


Source:
US Bureau of Justice Statistics (USBJS) , "Capital Punishment, 2013 - Statistical Tables" (444 KB), bjs.gov, Dec. 2014
US Bureau of Justice Statistics (USBJS) , "Number Under Sentence of Death," bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov (accessed Sep. 19, 2011)