2017 Sentencing


Death Sentences in 2017

39 New Death Sentences were imposed in the U.S. in 2017. That is the second fewest number of new death sentences imposed in any year in the modern history of U.S. capital punishment, which dates back to 1972 when the Supreme Court declared the country's death penalty laws unconstitutional in Furman v. Georgia.  

Fewer than one-tenth of 1% of counties in the U.S. accounted for more than 30% of all the death sentences imposed in the United States in 2017. Three outlier counties—Riverside, California; Clark County, Nevada, and Maricopa, Arizona—imposed 12 death sentences.  

Defendants Sentenced to Death in 2017
State First name Last name County Race
Alabama (2) Ryan Petersen Houston W
Jamal Jackson Mobile B
Arizona (4) John  Allen Maricopa W
Samantha Allen Maricopa W
Alan Champagne Maricopa NA
Preston Strong Yuma B
Arkansas (1) Brad  Smith Cleveland W
California (11) Darnell Washington Contra Costa B
Heraclio Meza Los Angeles L
Steven Gordon Orange W
Cherie Rhoades Placer NA
Raymond Barrera Riverside L
David Contreras Riverside L
Lorraine Hunter Riverside B
Elias Lopez Riverside L
Johnny Lopez Riverside L
James Ellis San Bernardino B
Christopher Cheary Tulare W
Florida (3) Mesac Damas Collier B
Shawn Rogers Santa Rosa B
Sean Bush St. Johns B
Idaho (1) Jonathan Renfro Kootenai W
Mississippi (1) Alberto Garcia Harrison L
Missouri (1) Marvin Rice Dent W
Nebraska (1) Nikko Jenkins Douglas B
Nevada (4) Norman Belcher Clark B
Thomas Randolph Clark W
Javier Righetti Clark L
Will Sitton Clark W
Ohio (1) Terry Froman Warren B
Oklahoma (2) Alton Nolen Cleveland B
Ronnie Fuston Oklahoma B
Pennsylvania (2) Leeton Thomas Lancaster B
Eric Frein Pike W
Texas (4) William Hudson Anderson W
Billy Tracy Bowie W
Joseph Colone Jefferson B
John Falk Walker W
U.S. Govt Dylann Roof Dist. South Carolina W
Key: B = Black, L = Latinx, NA = Native American, W = White

Death Sentences by Race of Defendant in 2017


Race Defendants
Black 15
Latinx 7
Native American  2
White 15

Counties in Order of Number of Death Sentences — 2017

County Death Sentences
Riverside, CA 5
Clark, NV 4
Maricopa, AZ 3
Anderson, TX 1
Bowie, TX 1
Cleveland, AR 1
Cleveland, OK 1
Collier, FL 1
Contra Costa, CA 1
Douglas, NE 1
Harrison, MS 1
Houston, AL 1
Jefferson, TX 1
Kootenai, ID 1
Lancaster, PA 1
Los Angeles, CA 1
Mobile, AL 1
Oklahoma, OK 1
Orange, CA 1
Pike, PA 1
Placer, CA 1
San Bernardino, CA 1
Santa Rosa, FL 1
St. Charles, MO 1
St. Johns, FL 1
Tulare, CA 1
Walker, TX 1
Warren, OH 1
Yuma, AZ 1
US Govt (South Carolina) 1

States in Order of Number of Death Sentences — 2017

State Death Sentences
California 11
Arizona 4
Nevada 4
Texas 4
Florida 3
Alabama 2
Oklahoma 2
Pennsylvania 2
Arkansas 1
Idaho 1
Mississippi 1
Missouri 1
Nebraska 1
Ohio 1
U.S. Govt 1

Related Links:


Executions by County

DPIC's 2017 Year End Report

Download 2017 sentencing data as a Microsoft Excel file

We invite any additions or corrections to this list. Contact us.