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Publication Capital Punishment, 2002

Thomas P. Bonczar, Tracy L. Snell

November 9, 2003    NCJ 201848

Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2002, and of persons executed in 2002. Preliminary data on executions by States during 2003 are included, and the report summarizes the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 2002. Numerical tables present data on offenders' sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, marital status, age at time of arrest for capital offense, legal status at time of capital offense, methods of execution, trends, and time between imposition of death sentence and execution. Historical tables present executions since 1930 and sentencing since 1973.


  • Of the 6,912 people under sentence of death between 1977 and 2002, 12% were executed, 4% died by causes other than execution, and 33% received other dispositions.
  • Fifty-one women were under sentence of death in 2002, up from 36 in 1992.
  • After declining for two years, the number of executions increased to 71 during 2002.

Part of the Capital Punishment Series

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ASCII file (25K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 39K)
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Capital Punishment (NPS-8)

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