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Publication Capital Punishment, 1998

Tracy L. Snell

December 12, 1999    NCJ 179012

Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 1998, and of persons executed in 1998. Preliminary data on executions in 1999 include State, method used, and race of inmate. The report summarizes the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 1998. Numerical tables present data on offenders' gender, 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.


  • At yearend 1998, 37 States and the Federal prison system held 3,452 prisoners under sentence of death, 4% more than in 1997.
  • The 314 Hispanic inmates under sentence of death accounted for 10% of inmates with a known ethnicity.
  • Forty-eight women were under a sentence of death in 1998, up from 35 in 1990.
  • Among persons for whom arrest information was available, the average age at time of arrest was 28; 2% of inmates were age 17 or younger. At yearend the youngest inmate was 18; the oldest was 83.

Part of the Capital Punishment Series

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ASCII file (42K)
Spreadsheet (28K)
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Capital Punishment (NPS-8)

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