Last updated on: 6/30/2015 | Author: ProCon.org

Death Row Inmates

In 1953, there were 131 inmates on death row; 62 (47.3%) of them were executed. In 2017, the Federal Bureau of Prisons and 32 states held 2,703 prisoners under sentence of death, and executed 23 (0.85%) of them.

The average time spent on death row increased from 3 years and 6 months in 1979 to 20 years and 3 months in 2017. A total of 1,465 prisoners were executed in the United States from 1977 to 2017. The highest number of death row inmates (3,601) occurred in 2000.

Death Row Inmate Executions, 1953-2017

YearTotal Death Row InmatesNumber of Death Row Inmates ExecutedPercentage of Death Row Inmates ExecutedAverage Time from Sentence to Execution
19531316247.3%n/a
19541478155.1%n/a
19551257660.8%n/a
19561466544.5%n/a
19571516543.0%n/a
19581474933.3%n/a
19591644929.9%n/a
19602125626.4%n/a
19612574216.3%n/a
19622674717.6%n/a
1963297217.1%n/a
1964315154.8%n/a
196533172.1%n/a
196640610.2%n/a
196743520.5%n/a
196851700.0%n/a
196957500.0%n/a
197063100.0%n/a
197164200.0%n/a
197233400.0%n/a
197313400.0%n/a
197424400.0%n/a
197548800.0%n/a
197642000.0%n/a
197742310.2%3 months
197848200.0%n/a
197959320.3%3 years 6 months
198069200.0%n/a
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

Sources

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)