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Publication Capital Punishment, 2003

Thomas P. Bonczar, Tracy L. Snell, Bureau of Justice Statistics

November 14, 2004    NCJ 206627

Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2003, and of persons executed in 2003. Preliminary data on executions by States during 2004 are included, and the report summarizes the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status during 2003. 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.


  • At yearend 2003, 37 States and the Federal prison system held 3,374 prisoners under sentence of death, 188 fewer than at yearend 2002.
  • Of those under sentence of death, 56% were white 42% were black, and 2% were of other races.
  • Forty-seven women were under sentence of death in 2003, up from 38 in 1993.

Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Press Release
Full report (PDF 539K)
ASCII file (26K)
Spreadsheet (Zip format 39K)
Codebooks and Datasets

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Capital Punishment (NPS-8)

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