BJS: Bureau of Justice Statistics

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Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS)
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Home | Corrections | Capital Punishment
Capital Punishment
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The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects data on persons held under sentence of death and persons executed during the calendar year from the state department of corrections and the Federal Bureau of Prisons, see Capital Punishment series. BJS also collects preliminary counts of executions during the following year to provide web users with the most recently available data, see Prisoners executed. Reports produced from this collection summarize the movement of prisoners into and out of death sentence status. The data describe offenders' sex, race, Hispanic origin, education, marital status, age at time of arrest for the capital offense, legal status at the time of the offense, and method of removal. Reports also include information on executions, trends, and time between imposition of death sentence and execution.

Data Collections & Surveys

Publications & Products


Capital Punishment, 2018 - Statistical Tables This report presents information on persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2018 and persons executed in 2018. Preliminary data on executions by states during 2019 are included.
  Full report (PDF 729K) | Data tables (Zip format 27K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Prisoners Executed Prisoners executed under civil authority in the United States, by year, region, and jurisdiction, 1977-2019.
  Data tables (Spreadsheet 8K) | Report: Capital Punishment, 2018 - Statistical Tables (HTML)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2017: Selected Findings Provides statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics' annual data collection on capital punishment.
  Full report (PDF 525K) | Data tables (Zip format 6K) | Prisoners Executed (Spreadsheet)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2016 - Statistical Brief Presents statistics on persons under sentence of death at year-end 2016, including summary trends in the population, admissions to and releases from death row, the number of persons executed, and an advance count of executions in 2017.
  Full report (PDF 931K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 19K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2014-2015 - Statistical Brief Presents statistics on persons under sentence of death at yearend 2014 and 2015, including summary trends in the population, admissions to and releases from death row, and the number of persons executed. Preliminary findings on executions in 2016 are also included. Data are from BJS's National Prisoner Statistics (NPS-8) series.
  Full report (PDF 393K) | ASCII file (7K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 58K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment in the United States, 2013 - Statistical Tables Presents information on persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2013, and persons executed in 2014.
  Full report (PDF 1M) | ASCII file (34K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 54K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2012 - Statistical Tables (Revised) Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2012, and persons executed in 2012.
  Full report (PDF 765KB) | ASCII file (14KB) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 28KB)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2011 - Statistical Tables Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2011, and persons executed in 2011.
  Full report (PDF 1.1M) | ASCII file (14K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 28K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2010 - Statistical Tables Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2010, and persons executed in 2010.
  Full report (PDF 800K) | ASCII file (12K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 20K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Capital Punishment, 2009 - Statistical Tables Presents characteristics of persons under sentence of death on December 31, 2009, and persons executed in 2009.
  Full report (PDF 505K) | ASCII file (10K) | Data tables (Spreadsheet 24K)
Part of the Capital Punishment Series

Terms & Definitions

Capital punishment Capital punishment refers to the process of sentencing convicted offenders to death for the most serious crimes (capital crimes) and carrying out that sentence. The specific offenses and circumstances that determine if a crime (usually murder) is eligible for a death sentence are defined by statute and are prescribed by Congress or any state legislature.
 
Death row Death row refers to incarcerated persons who have been sentenced to death and are awaiting execution (as in "inmates on death row"). Historically, death row was a slang term that referred to the area of a prison in which prisoners who were under a sentence of death were housed. Usage of the term continues despite the fact that many states do not maintain a separate unit or facility for condemned inmates.