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Publication Capital Punishment, 1992

Lawrence A. Greenfeld, James J. Stephan, Bureau of Justice Statistics

December 1, 1993    NCJ 145031

Thirteen States executed 31 prisoners during 1992, more than double the 14 executed in 1991 and the largest of any year since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. The prisoners executed during 1992 had been under sentence of death an average of 9 years and 6 months, about 2 months shorter than the average for inmates executed the previous year. During 1992, 265 prisoners under a sentence of death were received by State prison systems from the courts. In the same year, 117 persons had their death sentences overturned, two had their sentences commuted, and seven died while under a death sentence. At the year's end, 34 States and the Federal prison system held a total of 2,575 prisoners under sentence of death. They had all been convicted of murder. Nearly seven in 10 of those with known criminal histories had prior felony convictions; about one in 11 had a prior homicide conviction. Just over 58 percent of the death row inmates were white, 40 percent were black, 0.9 percent were American Indian, and 0.5 percent were Asian American. Among those for whom such a determination could be made, 7.6 percent were of Hispanic origin. Fifty-six percent were held by States in the South, 22 percent by Western States, 16 percent by Midwestern States, and 6 percent by Eastern States. Five States revised provisions related to capital punishment. Fifteen states do not have a death penalty. Tables, figures, and appended methodological information

Part of the Capital Punishment Series


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Capital Punishment (NPS-8)
National Prisoner Statistics (NPS) Program

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