BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Capital Punishment, 2007- Statistical Tables


National Prisoner Statistics Program (NPS-8)

Capital punishment information is collected annually as part of the National Prisoner Statistics program (NPS-8). This data series is collected in two parts: data on persons under sentence of death are obtained from the department of corrections in each jurisdiction currently authorizing capital punishment; and information on the status of death penalty statutes is obtained from the Office of the Attorney General in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the Federal Government. Data collection forms are available on the BJS website.

NPS-8 covers all persons under sentence of death at any time during the year who were held in a state or federal nonmilitary correctional facility. Included are capital offenders transferred from prison to mental hospitals and those who may have escaped from custody. Excluded are persons whose death sentences have been overturned by the court, regardless of their current incarceration status.

The statistics reported in this Bulletin may differ from data collected by other organizations for a variety of reasons: (1) NPS-8 adds inmates to the population under sentence of death not at sentencing but at the time they are admitted to a state or federal correctional facility; (2) If inmates entered prison under a death sentence or were reported as being relieved of a death sentence in one year but the court had acted in the previous year, the counts are adjusted to reflect the dates of court decisions (see the note on table 4 for the affected jurisdictions); and (3) NPS counts are always for the last day of the calendar year and will differ from counts for more recent periods.

All data in this report have been reviewed for accuracy by the data providers in each jurisdiction prior to publication.

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