Last updated on: 8/25/2021 | Author: ProCon.org

Death Row Inmates

In 1953, there were 131 inmates on death row and 62 (47.3%) of them were executed. In 2019, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 29 states held 2,570 prisoners under sentence of death, and executed 22 (0.9%) of them.

Below, find out more about death row inmates, including the number of death row inmates, average time spent on death row before execution, the year each inmate was sentenced to death, demographic information, criminal histories, and removals from death row for reasons other than execution.


Death Row Inmates: 2019

 Number of Death Row Inmates
(Dec. 31, 2019)
Federal61
Alabama175
Alaska0
Arizona116
Arkansas30
California724
Colorado3
Connecticut0
DC0
Delaware0
Florida340
Georgia46
Hawaii0
Idaho9
Illinois0
Indiana8
Iowa0
Kansas10
Kentucky27
Louisiana68
Maine0
Maryland0
Massachusetts0
Michigan0
Minnesota0
Mississippi40
Missouri22
Montana2
Nebraska12
Nevada71
New Hampshire1
New Jersey0
New Mexico0
New York0
North Carolina143
North Dakota0
Ohio139
Oklahoma46
Oregon29
Pennsylvania134
Rhode Island0
South Carolina36
South Dakota1
Tennessee52
Texas216
Utah7
Vermont0
Virginia2
Washington0
West Virginia0
Wisconsin0
Wyoming0

Inmate Time on Death Row: 1953-2019

 Total Death Row InmatesNumber of Death Row Inmates ExecutedPercentage of Death Row Inmates ExecutedAverage Time from Sentence to Execution
19531316247.3%--
19541478155.1%--
19551257660.8%--
19561466544.5%--
19571516543.0%--
19581474933.3%--
19591644929.9%--
19602125626.4%--
19612574216.3%--
19622674717.6%--
1963297217.1%--
1964315154.8%--
196533172.1%--
196640610.2%--
196743520.5%--
196851700.0%--
196957500.0%--
197063100.0%--
197164200.0%--
197233400.0%--
197313400.0%--
197424400.0%--
197548800.0%--
197642000.0%--
197742310.2%3 months
197848200.0%--
197959320.3%3 years 6 months
198069200.0%--
198186010.1%1 year 0 months
19821,06620.2%4 years 4 months
19831,20950.4%5 years 10 months
19841,420211.5%6 years 2 months
19851,575181.1%5 years 11 months
19861,800181.0%7 years 3 months
19871,967251.3%7 years 2 months
19882,117110.5%6 years 8 months
19892,243160.7%7 years 11 months
19902,346231.0%7 years 11 months
19912,465140.6%9 years 8 months
19922,580311.2%9 years 6 months
19932,727381.4%9 years 5 months
19942,905311.1%10 years 2 months
19953,064561.8%11 years 1 months
19963,242451.4%10 years 4 months
19973,328742.2%11 years 1 month
19983,465682.0%10 years 10 months
19993,527982.8%11 years 11 months
20003,601852.4%11 years 5 months
20013,577661.8%11 years 10 months
20023,562712.0%10 years 7 months
20033,377651.9%10 years 11 months
20043,320591.8%11 years 0 months
20053,245601.8%12 years 3 months
20063,228531.6%12 years 1 months
20073,215421.3%12 years 9 months
20083,210371.2%11 years 7 months
20093,173521.6%14 years 1 month
20103,139461.5%14 years 10 months
20113,065431.4%16 years 10 months
20123,011431.4%15 years 10 months
20132,983391.3%15 years 6 monts
20142,942351.2%18 years 2 months
20152,872281.0%16 years 3 months
20162,814200.7%17 years 0 months
20172,703230.9%20 years 3 months
20182,628251.0%19 years 10 months
20192,570220.9%22 years

Year of Capital Sentencing

Below are tables showing when each person on death row was sentenced to death. According to the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, “For persons sentenced to death more than once, counts are based on the year of the most recent death sentence.”

Note that there are two tables to accommodate the most information within the width of our pages.

 1976-19801981-19841985-19881989-19921993-19961997-20002001-2004
US Total2185151244397419288
Federal00003517
Alabama02410243119
Arizona1341216610
Arkansas1002733
California539599411512659
Colorado0000100
Florida8172045485122
Georgia00337114
Idaho0012302
Indiana0000121
Kansas0000003
Kentucky1441372
Louisiana004412228
Mississippi0104658
Missouri0120002
Montana0101000
Nebraska0000102
Nevada178317103
New Hampshire0000000
North Carolina0017513919
Ohio031414191919
Oklahoma00113510
Oregon0002673
Pennsylvania021115231915
South Carolina0201269
South Dakota0000000
Tennessee0259897
Texas41812203541
Utah0022110
Virginia0000000
 2005-20082009-20122013-2016201720182019Average Years on Death Row
US Total34230820836403118.7
Federal187622113.3
Alabama36241723316.2
Arizona1832742116.4
Arkansas52412016.5
California71816194120.4
Colorado110000--
Florida40442937619.5
Georgia105200118.4
Idaho100000--
Indiana013000--
Kansas32200011.4
Kentucky31100024.4
Louisiana68301019.2
Mississippi37312016.8
Missouri112301014.4
Montana000000--
Nebraska42012011.5
Nevada66541021
New Hampshire100000--
North Carolina137300320.4
Ohio13131414618.2
Oklahoma143521113.8
Oregon47000017.8
Pennsylvania17171121118.9
South Carolina112100216.6
South Dakota010000--
Tennessee36201021.4
Texas28272546516
Utah001000--
Virginia200000--

Death Row Inmate Demographics: 2019

  Total Death Row InmatesAdmissions to Death RowRemovals from Death Row
Total2,5703187

Sex

Men2,5183086
Women5211

Race

White1,4432047
Black1,0641138
American Indian/Alaska Native210
0
Asian/ Native Hawaiian/ Other Pacific Islander4202

Ethnicity

Hispanic35438
Non-Hispanic1,98424
70
Unknown23249

Age

18-1900
0
20-24300
25-293760
30-3412271
35-39217107
40-4435339
45-49433322
50-54423
111
55-59408111
60-6429008
65 or Older284018

Education

8th Grade or Less238513
9th-11th Grade703321
High-School Graduate or GED897633
Any College
18529
Unknown5471511

Marital Status

Married467418
Divorced/Separated431514
Widowed7903
Never Married1,217945
Unknown376137

Death Row Inmate Criminal History: 2019

  All Death Row InmatesWhite Death Row InmatesBlack Death Row InmatesHispanic Death Row Inmates

Prior Felony Conviction

Yes67.8%64.0%73.1%65.4%
No32.2%36.0%26.9%34.6%

Prior Homicide Conviction

Yes9.5%9.4%10.1%9.1%
No90.5%90.6%89.9%90.9%

Legal Status at Time of Capital Offense

Charge Pending8.3%9.9%7.6%5.9%
Probation11.3%10.0%11.4%14.2%
Parole16.0%13.7%17.8%17.6%
On Escape1.2%1.6%0.9%0.9%
Incarcerated4.4%5.8%3.5%3.4%
Other Status0.1%0.0%0.1%0.3%
None58.8%59.0%58.8%57.6%

Removals from Death Row: 2019

 Total Including ExecutionOther Death*Sentence CommutedCapital Statute Overturned by CourtCapital Conviction Overturned by CourtDeath Sentence Overturned by Court
US Total8720221922
Federal100001
State8620221921
Alabama400010
Arizona110000
Arkansas100010
California1290012
Florida1010070
Georgia500002
Indiana100001
Kentucky302010
Louisiana100001
Mississippi320010
Missouri300002
Nevada310011
New Mexico200200
Ohio410012
Oklahoma220000
Oregon100010
Pennsylvania900018
South Carolina100010
South Dakota100000
Tennessee610011
Texas1210011
Utah110000

*According to the Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, “other deaths were due to natural causes, suicide, and acute drug toxicity” in 2019

Sources

Tracy L. Snell, “Capital Punishment, 2018 – Statistical Tables,” bjs.gov, Sep. 2020

Tracy L. Snell, “Capital Punishment, 2019 – Statistical Tables,” bjs.gov, June 2021

US Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Capital Punishment, 2013 – Statistical Tables,” bjs.gov, Dec. 2014

US Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Capital Punishment, 2016 – Statistical Brief NCJ 251430,” bjs.gov, Apr. 30, 2018

US Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Capital Punishment, 2017: Select Findings NCJ 253060,” bjs.gov, July 23, 2019

US Bureau of Justice Statistics, “Number Under Sentence of Death,” bjs.ojp.usdoj.gov (accessed Sep. 19, 2011)